Twitter is bombarded with misinformation. To help in fighting the spread of misleading information, Twitter launches Birdwatch.
What is Twitter Birdwatch?
Don’t go to Twitter yet and search for the Birdwatch feature. It may not be available to you yet, especially if you’re not in the US.
Birdwatch program is a forum that enables users to fact-check tweets. It’s still in the pilot phase.
1,000 users in the US can access it, for now. These users can add notes to tweets and provide context if they are misleading.
Priority for this program isn’t offered to high-profile individuals. Users who want to participate in the pilot will need to use an account tied to an email address and a real phone number. You should also enable two-factor authentication to reduce hacking incidents.
Most of all, you must not have recently violated Twitter rules.
Why Twitter Considers It as Useful?
“We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable. Eventually we aim to make notes visible directly on Tweets for the global Twitter audience, when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors.”Keith Coleman, Twitter’s Vice President, Product
When you view it, it has a separate area that displays tweets that are discussed and rated. The format is like the moderation tools of Reddit and Wikipedia.
Users can flag tweets from a menu directly in the platform’s main interface. However, the discussion about its veracity will be available in the Birdwatch section.
Why Misinformation Spreads Faster?
Misinformation travels faster and farther than a piece of real information. On Twitter, false news stories are likely to be shared than true stories.
False stories are so alluring because they are more interesting and engaging than the truth.
It’s like reading a fiction and non-fiction book. People are likely to read fiction and share it with others.
The former US President Donald Trump used fake news to describe the negative coverage of his policies.
Bots to Blame?
The spread of misinformation in the platform isn’t just the fault of bots. Rather, we can also blame it on humans.
Twitter is actively looking for ways to fight fake news.
One of the solutions that Twitter provided in fighting fake news is putting a warning label over a tweet. However, it seems that such a tool didn’t work as Twitter hoped it would be.
In other words, misinformation is still spreading across the platform.
Experts said that the main solution to the spread of false information will also involve the users. Twitter users must understand how their information can be exploited.
Stopping the spread of misinformation should be a joint effort between social media companies and the government.
But users must also check before they share the information. You should look at the source first or read the article in full. This will help you ensure that the title truly reflects the content of the post.
Most of all, it must be posted by a reputable site.
Then, if your friend or someone you know shares misinformation, message him/her privately and ask to remove it.