Twitter is working on a new experimental tool called Birdwatch, which will be used to combat misinformation on its platform.
Social media consultant Matt Navarra posted screenshots of what the tool will look like on Twitter’s mobile app. It appears that the tool is going to be added as an option in the menu that includes the Mute, Block and Report buttons.
A user can flag a post for moderation when they add it to Birdwatch. Users will also be able to add notes that can be private or public to explain why they flagged the post. Twitter would then place an icon at the bottom of a tweet to show users’ Birdwatch notes about it.
New Twitter feature?
Any guesses what it does? pic.twitter.com/1vmpZdTKLi
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 30, 2020
Further, there would also be a “Birdwatch Notes” interface on users’ sidebar where they can keep track of their contributions.
Although Twitter hasn’t provided any details about Birdwatch, it has confirmed that it will be used to fight misinformation.
“We’re exploring a number of ways to address misinformation and provide more context for tweets on Twitter. Misinformation is a critical issue and we will be testing many different ways to address it,” a Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Although Birdwatch seems like a crowdsourcing moderation tool, there’s a possibility that it could actually go against what Twitter is trying to accomplish with it, especially if all users are able to make Birdwatch notes.
It would likely be more useful to only allow verified experts or moderators to add Birdwatch notes, because it would add a layer of credibility to the notes. We’ll have to wait for a future rollout to learn more about the feature.