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Twitter’s New Misinformation Feature Dubbed “Birdwatch”


The Social Media Giant is developing a new feature to address the issue of misinformation on their platform.

Twitter has confirmed that they are currently developing a new product aptly named “Birdwatch.” This new feature will attempt to address misinformation by providing more context for tweets, this will be in the form of notes.

This feature was originally discovered by data minor “Jane Manchun Wong, who found the system through twitters website. When it was found it didn’t yet have a name, but it was clearly an interface for flagging tweets.

Wong then helpfully added a tweet with more information of what she had found.

The Birdwatch feature appears to be a tool that enables users to add ‘notes’ to tweets, vote on whether a tweet is an example of misinformation, and allow future viewers to review the notes for context.

More information on the feature was then tweeted by Matt Navarra which showed us a slightly more in-depth look  as to how the feature is progressing.

Assuming no major changes occur in development, Birdwatch will be accessible by tapping a binoculars image under any tweet. Those with access will be able to create new notes , while others will be able to use this feature to review a history of notes made on said tweet.

It is not clear when Birdwatch will officially be released to the public, or if there will be limited availability to users, or even how attempts to troll the system will be handled.

Twitter has recently cracked down on tweets containing misleading or false statements. They have even gone so far as to apply fact-check labels to some of Trump’s tweets and have hidden others behind a notice warning user that the tweet has violated Twitter’s rules.

When asked, Twitter declined to give any additional information about Birdwatch but did confirm that the feature was designed to combat the spread of misinformation saying:

“We’re exploring a number of ways to address misinformation and provide more context for tweets on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Misinformation is a critical issue and we will be testing many different ways to address it”.

Since her last tweet on the subject, Jane Manchun Wong has sent out an updated tweet sharing more information on the “ twitter Community” form.

It is clear that Twitter is committed to combating the misinformation issue and we will surely see more information from them as “Birdwatch” is being developed.

This could be a helpful tool or a nuisance, as we will undoubtedly see shortly.