In the first phase of the pilot launch, fact check notes on misinformation will only be visible on a separate Birdwatch site, Twitter wrote in a blogpost. The notes will enable users to take the information and put it in context rather than labeling the Tweets as being one way or the other--not labeling the information as simply "true" or "false." Participants will also be able to rate user notes so that Birdwatch users can deem specific content as helpful or appropriate.
The pilot launch will involve around 1,000 users in the United States and will expand once the social media giant figures out what works and what needs to be improved on. Twitter welcomes any user to sign up to participate in the program.
"We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable," stated Keith Coleman, vice president of product at Twitter, in a blog post. "Eventually we aim to make notes visible directly on Tweets for the global Twitter audience, when there is consensu form a broad and diverse set of contributors."
Some of the ways in which Twitter would like to raise the transparency of Birdwatch are by allowing the data to be publically accessible through TSV files and by establishing algorithms like reputation and consensus systems that Twitter will also make public.
Twitter in the past has had to combat misinformation and propaganda on its social media platform. The company took steps to fact check misinformation throughout the 2020 U.S. presidential election such as labeling tweets and flagging false election news. The program, however, had mixed results, causing the company to look for a better solution.
"Our goal is to build Birdwatch in the open, and have it shaped by the Twitter community," Coleman added.
Birdwatch could help the company of Twitter to combat any type of misinformation, by having the Tweets or status updates checked for inaccuracies, placed in proper context, and given appropriate notes to go alongside the Tweets.