There is no lack of unverified or even fake news on various platforms. Hopefully, social media companies are working hard to deal with this problem. For example, Twitter launched its Birdwatch program. The company wants to address misinformation on the platform by allowing users to fact-check tweets.
It is worth mentioning that, users in the pilot program, which will only include 1,000 users in the U.S. during the initial launch, will eventually be able to add notes to tweets to provide context. At the moment, users participating in the program can write notes on individual tweets. People should take into account that, the notes won’t be publicly visible on Twitter itself, only on the public Birdwatch website. This is not the end of the story as pilot users can also rate notes submitted by other participants in the program there.
The company believes that thanks to this approach it will be easier to fight misinformation. Moreover, Twitter plans to make notes visible directly on tweets for the global Twitter audience, when there is a consensus from a wide-ranging as well as a various set of contributors.
Twitter and its position
Interestingly, the San Francisco-based company first confirmed that it was working on Birdwatch in 2020. However, it was not likely to release the program ahead of the U.S. presidential election.
As stated above, social media companies are struggling to cope with the spread of misinformation and propaganda across their platforms. Twitter is not an exception. It is worth mentioning that, Twitter took steps to try to tackle electron misinformation during the U.S. presidential campaign. The company labeled tweets with wrong or misleading information about the election. However, the program had mixed results and did not appear to act as a deterrent to former President Donald Trump. As a reminder, his account was permanently suspended in January.
Importantly, all data contributed to Twitter’s program will be available as well as downloadable in TSV files. The company will publish the algorithms that power the Birdwatch program publicly in a Birdwatch Guide. As a reminder, the initial ranking system is available on Twitter’s GitHub page. Hopefully, the San Francisco-based company understands the importance of this program. Twitter is ready to tackles various challenges connected with Birdwatch. Social media companies around the world should join forces to address misinformation. This way it will be easier to deal with such content in the future.