Twitter Birdwatch: A System to Fight Misinformation

One of the biggest problems in social media today is so-called “fake news” which has misled a lot of people. which is why Twitter is adding a new feature to its platform.


Twitter Birdwatch

Twitter is developing a new feature called “Birdwatch,” which is an attempt at addressing misinformation across its platform by providing more context for tweets, in form of notes.

It lets the Twitter community warn one another about misleading tweets that could cause harm.

The existence of this feature was first discovered by “Jane Manchun Wong,” who often digs through app code for evidence of unreleased features. Below is a tweet from her:

Tweets can be added to “Birdwatch” from the tweet’s drop-down menu, where blocking and reporting tools are found.

Also, a small binoculars icon will appear on tweets published to the Twitter Timeline. If the button is clicked, users are directed to where they can view the tweet’s history of notes.


For Twitter’s Birdwatch feature,

a new tab called “Birdwatch Notes” will be added to Twitter’s sidebar navigation. This section will allow you to keep track of your own contributions.

This will be added alongside other existing features like Topics, Lists, Bookmarks, and Moments.

According to Matt Navarra, a social media consultant, Birdwatch allows users to attach notes to a tweet. These notes can be viewed by clicking on the binoculars button on the tweet.

However, additional context about the statements made in the tweet would be open to the public.

What is yet unknown is whether everyone on Twitter will be given access to annotate tweets with additional context. Meanwhile, we are yet to know if this permission requires approval, or only be open to select users or fact-checkers.

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