San Francisco: Twitter has a brand new experimental software called Birdwatch, which is part of the platform’s development of its arsenal to deal with online misinformation. Social media marketing consultant Matt Navarra posted a screenshot of the feature on Twitter, showing its current status. Obviously, the software may be added to a drop-down menu where customers can find the “mute”, “block” and “report” buttons.
When users add a post to Birdwatch, they actually mark it for review. They can also add comments, which can be private or public to explain why that particular tweet is tagged. If this feature is implemented, Twitter will place a new icon that looks like binoculars (or glasses) at the bottom of a tweet to show users’ Birdwatch notes about it. In addition, the platform will add a new tab called “Birdwatch Notes” in the sidebar of its interface, where users can track their contributions. Application researcher Jane Manchun Wong discovered the early form of the tool as early as August, when the tool was simpler and had no name.
Twitter didn’t discuss details about Birdwatch with TechCrunch, but it did confirm that it’s meant for use in the fight against misinformation. A spokesperson said:
“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.”
Although Birdwatch appears to be designed as a review tool designed to rely on crowdsourcing, giving everyone the power to add public comments may run counter to what the company is trying to achieve. We may have to wait for future releases or larger releases to see if Twitter will allow all users to add comments that others can read, or only selected users (such as verified experts or moderators) will be able to do so that.