Twitter’s Birdwatchers Will Be Taking Notes

Anyone who understands the power of social media and its influencers understands the power of content amplification. Content amplification is one way information goes viral. It is sometimes the way certain information dominates the internet.

Source: Twitter’s Birdwatchers Will Be Taking Notes

The end result of Twitter’s new pilot platform roll-out, called Birdwatch, may well be the latest way to help amplify information that should be censored in their estimation. Given recent statements and actions, it is difficult to think about it differently. However, reading through the supporting documents shows that the company is at least attempting to avoid bias and target divergent viewpoints from the ones held by its leadership.

Twitter has selected an initial army of 1000 “Birdwatchers” who have been enlisted to identify and comment on misinformation in tweets. Twitter’s Birdwatch Overview Page says,

“Birdwatch is a community-driven approach to address misinformation on Twitter. Participants can identify Tweets they believe are misleading, write notes that provide context to the Tweet, and rate the quality of other participants’ notes. Through consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors, our eventual goal is that community-written notes will be visible directly on Tweets, available to everyone on Twitter.”

In the current “phase” of the program, the Birdwatch site is separate,

“During this phase, Birdwatch contributions will not affect the way people see Tweets or our system recommendations. Our priority is to understand how to build and adopt a community-based approach that takes input from a diverse set of contributors and identifies the context that people will find most helpful…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.”

The “values” page seems to promote balanced contributions when composing notes for tweets. The goal here is to “provide context on Tweets in a way that a broad set of people with diverse perspectives find helpful.” The guidelines call for evidence-based notes, good faith-submissions, respectful behavior, and reject name-calling and “hateful, derogatory, or inflammatory language—all seemingly reasonable and fair guidelines.

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