Twitter’s ‘Birdwatch’ Feature To Prevent Fake News By Adding More Context

Twitter’s ‘Birdwatch’ Feature To Prevent Fake News By Adding More Context


Talk of ‘Birdwatch’ first started in August when reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong spotted it on a website. It didn’t have a name then, but the feature will allow moderators to tag tweets and add notes to it.

Twitter updated its website shortly after Wong’s discovery, and then a similar code was spotted on the iOS beta app. The company has confirmed the feature as an attempt to control misinformation and add context to the tweets. It isn’t clear how Birdwatch on Twitter will exactly work, but it is speculated to be a crowdsourced method of moderation.

Birdwatch On Twitter

To start with, the name Birdwatch is on-point for a moderation system on Twitter. The social media giant has been active in moderating misinformation lately. They even went as far as to flag US President Trump’s tweet to a fact-check.

Going by Wong’s early discovery and the iOS version of the feature unveiled by Matt Navarra, we have some idea of how this will work. The feature will bring an ‘Add to Birdwatch’ button to the menu from where you can access the ‘report’ and ‘block’ functions.

It’ll also add a binocular icon near the bottom-right corner of every tweet. This would let moderators add notes and view the notes added by other moderators. Twitter Birdwatch is likely to add more context to otherwise misleading posts via crowdsourced moderation.

Crowdsourcing isn’t new to Twitter. The platform uses it to moderate its Periscope, its live-streaming app. However, the seamless working of crowdsourcing is an issue of concern when we talk about applying to Twitter. Let’s say if everyone gets Birdwatch, parts of Twitter may see thousands of annotations or notes on a single tweet.

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There is also the possibility that the trolls tinkered with the moderation of the citizens. Also, what if trolls, or even the general public, tag tweets too often? So far, there aren’t any details on how this works, but since it’s still a work in progress, we’d better wait for implementation.

Keywords: twitter birdwatch, new to twitter, twitter ts bird watcher, twitter fake news detection