According to the PEW research center, approximately four out of ten (40%) Americans got the news from Facebook – and those numbers just keep growing. With this, fact-checking groups and organizations continue to gain popularity around the world and remain on the rise as the line between opinion articles and credible sources has become increasingly blurred over the last decade.
Community approach in the fight against misinformation
In a new effort to help solve the problem, Twitter introduced Birdwatch, a U.S. pilot of a community-led approach to solving misinformation problems on the platform.
“We apply labels and add context to tweets, but we don’t want to limit efforts to circumstances where something violates our rules or gets wide public attention. We also want to expand the range of voices that are part of tackling this problem and we believe a community-led approach can help, ”explained product vice president Keith Coleman in an official blog post.
The way it works and creating transparency
Following the announcement, Birdwatch participants will recognize in tweets what they find misleading and write notes that provide an informative context. These notes will only be visible at the Birdwatch site during the initial pilot phase, and other participants will be able to evaluate the usefulness of these notes.
Coleman also clarified that after the beta phase is over, the ultimate goal is to make notes visible directly on Tweets for Twitter’s global audience, “when there is a consensus of a broad and diverse set of contributors.” For now, the priority is to build a Birdwatch and gain the belief that the context it creates is useful and appropriate.
Meanwhile, Twitter is taking proactive steps to ensure transparency in Birdwatch, including:
- Make all data that contributed to Birdwatch publicly available and downloaded in TSV files.
- Publish the code publicly in the Bird Guide as the platform develops behind-the-scenes algorithms.
- The initial ranking system can be found here.
“We know that there are a number of challenges in building such a community-led system – from being resistant to attempts at manipulation to ensuring that it is not dominated by a simple majority or bias based on its distribution of associates. Coleman wrote. While it can sometimes be “messy,” the platform has confidence in this approach to combat the common problem plaguing the social media landscape for both marketers and users.
Collaborating with Revue to support thought leadership
In a separate update, Twitter is making moves to support thought leadership across the platform by purchasing Revue, a service that helps everyone create and pay for their newsletters.
“Long-form content writers and curators are a valuable part of the conversation and it’s crucial that we offer them new ways to create and share content, and most importantly, we’ll help them grow and connect better with their audiences,” Mike Park said, Twitter Vice President of Publishing Products.
For now, Revue will remain a standalone service, according to the announcement, with the goal of helping its Twitter users stay informed about their interest and favorite thought leaders, while introducing new ways for writers to cash in on their audiences, whether established in the publication, an external, personal website, on Twitter or elsewhere.
While many writers turn to other sources to publish longer content, longer than the 280-character limit, Twitter hopes it will be a solution to help them create and share content and be a better home for them and their audiences.
“We imagine a lot of ways to do that, from allowing people to sign up for newsletters from their favorite followers on Twitter, to new settings for writers to host conversations with their subscribers,” Park added.
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