Twitter is taking its fight against fake news a notch higher by now involving users. Through a new feature called birdwatch, the app will allow you to submit notes on false or misleading tweets.
Acknowledging that the system would have to be “resistant to manipulation attempts”, Twitter launched the pilot with a small group of users in the US.
“We know this might be messy and have problems at times, but we believe this is a model worth trying,” Twitter said.
Twitter says the new approach will help them curb misleading information faster. Users will be able to flag the tweets they believe are false or misleading and provide evidence to the contrary. They will also be able to discuss the tweets with others on a separate ‘birdwatch’ site.
“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,” Twitter said.
Twitter already flags tweets that are considered false or misleading. In the run-up to US President Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, the company flagged off Donald Trump’s voter fraud tweets.
The tweets were labeled as misleading, with a disclaimer urging users to seek the right information. Twitter also reserves the right to remove tweets and in some cases, ban users. Trump got a permanent suspension after he supported protesters who attacked Capitol Hill, resulting in the death of four people.
Twitter now wants to go further, “We don’t want to limit efforts to circumstances where something breaks our rules or receives widespread public attention,” said Twitter’s Vice-President Keith Coleman.