Here’s How Twitter’s Birdwatch Will Help Keep A Check On Misinformation


Twitter now has a birdwatch that will help keep a check on misinformation.

In an effort to crack down on misinformation on the platform, Twitter is looking to crowdsource a solution with its new feature Birdwatch. Birdwatch taps into a network of engaged tweeters to add notes to misleading tweets.

The platform has announced that they are rolling out Birdwatch notes to pilot participants on desktop, Android, and iOS. The pilot version of Twitter Birdwatch was launched earlier in January this year and the platform had described it as a way to add context to misinformation in real-time.

How will it help?

Product VP Keith Coleman had explained in a blog post at that time that they believed the Birdwatch approach had the “potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable”.

Coleman said :

“Eventually we aim to make notes visible directly on Tweets for the global Twitter audience when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors,”

Now, the early set of Birdwatch pilot participants are ready to take the show on the road.

Twitter explains that once Birdwatch notes are added to any tweet, users will get a chance to rate whether the feedback was helpful or not. If none of the replies is rated helpful then the Birdwatch card is going to disappear. And if any of the notes are deemed helpful they are going to pop up right inside the tweet.

Understandably there are a lot of questions about how and if Birdwatch is going to work in the current social media framework.

Twitter is using community feedback instead of more centralised efforts used by other platforms like Facebook that brought in independent fact-checking organisations. Twitter is taking a different approach and is putting the power in the hand of Birdwatch contributors and letting audiences decide whether the feedback is helpful or not, which is also going to determine the visibility of fact checks. We’ll have to wait and see how this works out.