Twitter, like any other social media, is rife with misinformation. Each one does what it can to combat it. And in Twitter’s case, it may come in the form of Birdwatch.
In a sense, you can think of Birdwatch as a moderation tool, but done by the general user base rather than a dedicated team of mods. The feature allows you to add notes to tweets that you think are sorely lacking in context. Of course, the note will identify the creator, as well as when it was created. It’s likely that Twitter made that visible so that the notes themselves don’t become a source of misinformation.
Twitter is working on a moderation tool to monitor misinformations on Twitter
Moderators can flag tweets, vote on whether it is misleading, and add a note about it
(I made up my own note to show what it currently looks like) pic.twitter.com/YIa6zt58Fj
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 5, 2020
Birdwatch was first discovered by code sleuth Jane Manchun Wong back in August. It surfaced again when it was tweeted by Matt Navarra. In actual implementation, the option will show up as a binoculars icon.
MORE INFO about Twitter’s ‘Birdwatch’ feature spotted.
Looks like it allows you to attach notes to a tweet.
May allow you to create public and private notes. pic.twitter.com/GNGEg2AmwT
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) October 1, 2020
The social media company has yet to officially say anything about the Birdwatch feature, so a number of questions about it still remain. For one, will it be a feature that’s available to everyone, or only selected individuals that Twitter identifies as fact checkers? Will the author of a note require the permission of the tweet author before a note can be attached?
I suppose this is a good time to offer a reminder that we’ve love the opportunity to work with you 😉
On Birdwatch, excited to share more about our plans here soon.
— Kayvon Beykpour (@kayvz) October 3, 2020
Hopefully these questions get answered when the company makes an official announcement. According to company product lead, Kayvon Beykpour, that will be “soon”.