Twitter on Monday announced a new community-driven forum called Birdwatch that’s meant to combat misinformation and disinformation on the site. The pilot forum allows Twitter users to identify information in tweets they believe to be misleading and add notes that provide helpful context, the social media site explained 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,” Keith Coleman, Twitter’s vice president of product, said in the blog post.
Twitter, like other social networks such as Facebook, has been under more pressure to combat misinformation, including about the corona virus and elections. Twitter labels or removes tweets with misinformation depending on their potential to cause harm, such as inciting violence.
In a hypothetical example of how Birdwatch would work, a tweet shows the image of a press release stating a mayor’s office wanted to convert all water fountains from still to sparkling. Twitter users weigh in with their own thoughts, saying the tweet is “misinformed or potentially misleading” because it contains content from an April Fools’ prank.
Coleman said Twitter eventually wants to make notes visible directly on the tweets in question, but for now, they’ll only be visible on a separate Birdwatch page. Birdwatch’s Twitter page is active and it says that it plans to continue building in “public” for transparency.