According to the PEW Research Center, about four-in-ten (40%) Americans got their news from Facebook — and these numbers only continue to grow. As the line between credible sources and opinion articles has become more blurred over the past decade, fact-checking organisations and groups continue to gain popularity around world.
A community-based approach to fighting misinformation
Twitter launched Birdwatch, a pilot program in the United States that focuses on a community-driven approach to addressing misinformation on the platform.
“We apply labels and add context to tweets, but we don’t want to limit efforts to circumstances where something breaks our rules or receives widespread public attention. We also want to broaden the range of voices that are part of tackling this problem, and we believe a community-driven approach can help,” Vice President of Product Keith Coleman explained in the official announcement blog post.
How it works, and how to make it transparent
Birdwatch participants will identify misinformation in tweets and make notes that provide context. These notes will be visible only on the Birdwatch site during phase one of the pilot. Other participants can rate the usefulness of the notes.
Coleman also clarified that once the beta phase is complete, the ultimate goal is to make notes visible directly on Tweets for the global Twitter audience, “when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors.” For now, the priority remains on building out Birdwatch and gaining confidence that the context it produces is helpful and appropriate.
Twitter is taking proactive steps to ensure transparency for Birdwatch, including:
- All data submitted to Birdwatch will be made publicly available and can be downloaded in TSV files.
- Public publishing code in the Birdwatch Guide is possible because the platform creates the algorithms behind-the scenes.
- Here is the initial ranking system.
“We know there are a number of challenges toward building a community-driven system like this — from making it resistant to manipulation attempts to ensuring it isn’t dominated by a simple majority or biased based on its distribution of contributors. Coleman wrote. While at times it may be “messy,” the platform has confidence in this approach to curb a common problem plaguing social media landscape for marketers and users alike.
Revue and Revue collaborate to support thought leadership
Twitter also announced that Revue has been acquired by the platform. This service allows anyone to create and earn money for their newsletters.
“Writers and long-form content curators are a valuable part of the conversation and it’s critical we offer new ways for them to create and share their content, and importantly, help them grow and better connect with their audience,” stated Mike Park, Twitter’s VP of Publish Products.
Revue will be a standalone site for now. Its team plans to help Twitter users keep informed about their interests and favorite thought leaders. Revue also offers new ways for writers, whether they are established at a publication or an external, personal website on Twitter.
Twitter hopes that this will help them create and share more content, and make it easier for their readers.
“We’re imagining a lot of ways to do this, from allowing people to sign up for newsletters from their favorite follows on Twitter, to new settings for writers to host conversations with their subscribers,” added Park.
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