Twitter launches 'Birdwatch,' a new forum for fight misinformation

Feb 03, 2021 - Views: 1078

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Twitter launches 'Birdwatch,' a new forum for fight misinformation

On last Monday, Jan 25, 2021, Twitter announced a new community forum with the name Birdwatch. This forum is established to combat misinformation and disinformation on the website. In the pilot forum, Twitter users are allowed to identify information in tweets they believe to be misleading and add notes that provide helpful context, the social media site explained in a blog post.

Keith Coleman, Twitter's vice president of product, wrote in the blog post that they believed that approach had the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spread, adding context that people trusted and found valuable. 

Like other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter has been taken more pressure to fight misinformation both the coronavirus and elections. Just need a  good Wifi signal strength and a smartphone, users can tweet any information both negative and positive. Twitter tags or eliminates tweets with misinformation depending on their potential to cause harm like promoting violence.

There are many challenges when battling online lies. After Twitter suspended the account of former President Donald Trump, it has tried to face baseless allegations that the company is politically biased against conservatives. Different from Facebook, Twitter does not cooperate with independent fact-checkers but curates public tweets debunking a misleading claim. There is no clear clue that how effective these labels are when it comes to combating misinformation. However, through fact-check tweets, the company can control a higher amount of misinformation on its site.

In the blog post, Coleman also mentioned that they knew there were a number of challenges toward building a community-driven system like this- from making it resistant to manipulation attempts to ensure it was not dominated by a simple majority or biased based on its distribution of contributors.

In a hypothetical example about the way Birdwatch would operate, a tweet would show an image of a press state that a mayor's office wanted to convert all water fountains from still to sparkling. Twitter users after looking at this tweet, could consider and say the tweet “misinformed or potentially misleading” because it appears in the right April Fools’ prank. 

Coleman said Twitter eventually wants to do these notes shown directly on the tweets in question for all sites, forums. But for now, they are only valuable on a separate Birdwatch page. Birdwatch's Twitter page is active and it says that it plans to continue building in "public" for transparency. 

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