Twitter launches ‘Birdwatch’ to combat ‘misleading information’

‘Birdwatch’ will allow users to add notes to tweets they believe to be false

On Monday Twitter unveiled a new way for people to report & suppress information deemed too dangerous for public consumption. ‘Birdwatch’ is a pilot program for selected users where they can ‘add context’ to information they deem to be ‘false or misleading’. Not even independent ‘fact checkers’ just regular Twitter users reporting on others Tweets.

No account or tweet is exempt from annotation either. Any Birdwatch user can ‘add context’ to any account or tweet including those posted by news outlets, reporters, and even elected officials. Birdwatch allows users to identify any information in tweets that they believe are misleading or false and they can then add notes to provide ‘informative context’.

Only 1000 Birdwatch users will be allowed in the pilot phase. Twitter of course welcomes all users to apply to be a part of the pilot but only a select few will be among the first to participate.

“We want to invite anyone to sign up and participate in this program, and know that the broader and more diverse the group, the better Birdwatch will be at effectively addressing misinformation,” Twitter VP of Product Keith Coleman said.

To be admitted, a user must be located in the United States, have a verified email, a verified U.S. phone number, and no violations of Twitter policies within the last year. Twitter added that if a user has broken the rules or had their accounts suspended, that would be “disqualifying” to be considered for the pilot.

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