Twitter has announced the launch of Birdwatch, a feature where a select few users will be allowed to fact-check tweets with misleading or downright incorrect information.
“Birdwatch allows people to identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading or false, and write notes that provide informative context,” Twitter Vice President of Product Keith Coleman wrote in a blog post. “We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable.”
Initially, users with an account containing a real phone number and email address will be allowed to create a note under an erroneous tweet, which will be presented on Twitter’s separate Birdwatch site. The goal is to eventually have these notes exist on Twitter, but this will not happen until the company can gain confidence in the program and “there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors.”
“We know this might be messy and have problems at times, but we believe this is a model worth trying,” Coleman acknowledged.
The launch of Birdwatch comes on the heels of Donald Trump being banned from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” The former president oftentimes used the platform to broadcast lies, such as the fiction that he won the 2020 election.