Twitter has confirmed it’s working on a new feature, currently dubbed “Birdwatch,” that could let the Twitter community warn one another about misleading tweets that could cause harm.
There’s an awful lot we don’t know about the idea, including whether Twitter will actually release it to the public or how it might work in its final form, but enough has leaked out that we do have a pretty fair glimpse — which, we understand, is still early in development and would not be released ahead of the US election.
As TechCrunch notes, the existence of such a tool was first discovered by Jane Manchun Wong, who often digs through app code for evidence of unreleased features, back in August. At a basic level, the idea is that you’ll be able to attach a note to a misleading tweet:
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
And as of late September, social media consultant Matt Navarra spotted a dedicated “Add to Birdwatch” button below a piece of content he’d tweeted:
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
As of October 3rd, Birdwatch even appears to have its own miniature survey to fill out as you’re reporting a piece of content, with options to take either side (misleading/not misleading) in the debate about a particular piece of information, as well as drilling down to how much harm you believe the
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