Taking a giant step towards curbing misinformation online, microblogging website Twitter has launched a pilot programme that would allow users of the platform to flag/mark tweets that they believe are misleading and enable them to add notes to provide the context.
Birdwatch, the pilot project, has been initially launched in the United States and will work on a separate community approach. Simply put, a separate website has been created for the project and only pilots applying to the program can write posts identifying and marking misinformation.
The posts, at the moment, would not be accessible to the users on Twitter but only the pilot participants on Birdwatch website. In a blog post, the company said that the move is aimed at taming the spread of misinformation and nipping it in the bud before too many people come across it.
According to Twitter, the only way to tackle the fake news menace at micro-level is making the people a part of it, thereby placing a check mechanism. Eventually, it aims to make notes visible directly on tweets for its global audience when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors.
"We know there are a number of challenges toward building a community-driven system like this — from making it resistant to manipulation attempts to ensure it isn't dominated by a simple majority or biased based on its distribution of contributors. We'll be focused on these things throughout the pilot," said Twitter Vice President of Product Keith Coleman in the blog post.
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