Twitter has confirmed that it is developing a new tool to counter misinformation. Dubbed “Birdwatch”, the new feature could allow users to flag tweets, add notes to explain their suspicion, and fill up a survey form that estimates the tweet's potential harm and reach. Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane), who was the first to spot the feature in early August, has since shared more screenshots that give a glimpse into how the feature could use crowdsourced data to moderate content on the platform.
Through multiple screenshots on Twitter, Wong on Saturday demonstrated how a “Twitter Community” form was generated when a tweet was “Added to Birdwatch”. The form had multiple questions that would add context to the complaint. Later, Kayvon Beykpour, Product Lead at Twitter and Co-Founder of the live-streaming app, Periscope, which was acquired by Twitter in 2015, confirmed in a reply that he would soon be sharing more on Birdwatch.
obviously the middle one should've been captioned “(2/2)”— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) October 3, 2020
gosh i was in such a rush tweeting that out, it's too late ????
here's the corrected version: pic.twitter.com/NiBDsc7PGT
Building up to the confirmation from Beykpour, social media consultant Matt Navarra, too, had shared a screenshot last week, which showed a tiny binoculars icon appearing below a tweet that allowed him to access the “Add to Birdwatch” feature.
New Twitter feature?— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 30, 2020
Any guesses what it does? pic.twitter.com/1vmpZdTKLi
In her earlier tweet, Wong had also shown how the “Birdwatch” feature would enable users to add notes to the tweet they were flagging. The history of notes on the tweet could then be made available for other user/ moderators to see and vote on.
Twitter is working on a moderation tool to monitor misinformations on Twitter— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 5, 2020
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
But the leaks into the working of this misinformation feature leave a lot to be answered. It's still not clear if the feature will be open to all users, a specific set of fact checkers, or Twitter's own band of moderators; it is also important to observe how Twitter plans to restrict the potential trolling that this feature could unleash on the platform.
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