Twitter launches new ‘Birdwatch’ initiative to combat misinformation

Today, Twitter announced an all-new initiative for combating the massive amount of misinformation on the platform called Birdwatch. Birdwatch is a collection of new crowdsourcing tools designed to allow users to flag tweets as misleading and to “write notes that provide informative context.”

Twitter is starting off this new initiative with a separate website that you can sign into with your Twitter credentials. It’s clear that Twitter is excited about this new initiative but is still not completely sure of its viability. They note in their press release that this is a pilot program, and it lives on a separate website specifically to allow them to determine if Birdwatch can truly help combat misinformation.

Birdwatch simply allows users who discover misinformation to “create notes that add context to Tweets.” It also allows users to tell Twitter if they believe that a particular tweet may cause harm. The system is essentially crowdsourced, as other users can disagree with your conclusion. At the moment, notes won’t appear on Twitter itself for regular users. But if you want to participate in the pilot program you can use the new separate Birdwatch website to see notes about misinformation in tweets. All Twitter users are eligible to participate.

You can follow @Birdwatch on Twitter to keep up-to-date on the program. Presumably, if the pilot program indeed does its job, Twitter will extend these moderation features to the core Twitter experience. You can take a look at the new Birdwatch website in the gallery below…

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