September 30, 2022
Twitter expands Birdwatch, its crowdsourced fact check pilot, to the US

Twitter is expanding Birdwatch, its crowdsourced fact checking project that it started more than a year ago as a smaller and less publicized pilot program. The program lets regular people flag and note misleading tweets. This is separate from Twitter’s news verification partnership with The Associated Press and Reuters.

Starting Thursday, a small, random group of US Twitter users will start seeing these Birdwatch notes on certain tweets, the company said. They’ll be able to rate them as helpful – or not.

To contribute to the fact check at Birdwatch, anyone in the US can sign up if they have a verified phone number with a US carrier and are not in breach of a recent Twitter rule. They also have to agree to three rules, Twitter says: contribute to understanding, act in good faith, and be helpful to those who disagree.

Twitter, along with other social media companies, is grappling with how to combat misinformation on its service. Despite stringent regulations and enforcement, lies continue to be spread, now troubled by the war in Ukraine and Russia’s state-backed propaganda machine.

The company has said that it wants both experts and non-experts to write birdwatch notes and cite Wikipedia as a site that thrives with non-expert contributions. Meanwhile, ratings are akin to Reddit’s upvotes and downvotes for comments.

For notes to appear on a tweet, it must be considered helpful by enough people from “different perspectives,” Twitter said, adding that different perspectives determine how people have rated notes in the past. – not by their demographics.


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