How Twitter supports a community of thought leaders and fact-checkers

According to the PEW Research Center, about four in ten Americans (40%) got their news from Facebook – and these numbers continue to grow. Thanks to this, fact-checking groups and organizations continue to gain popularity around the world and remain growing as the line between opinion articles and credible sources has become increasingly blurred over the last decade.

A community approach to combating disinformation

In a new push to help tackle the problem, Twitter has introduced Birdwatch, a US-only pilot of a community-driven approach to tackling misinformation on the platform.

“We apply labels and add context to tweets, but we don’t want to limit efforts to circumstances where something breaks our rules or receives widespread public attention. We also want to broaden the range of voices helping to address this issue, and we believe a community-driven approach can help,” explained VP of Product Keith Coleman in the official announcement blog post.

How it works and how to create transparency

According to the announcement, Birdwatch participants will identify what they believe to be misleading information in tweets and write notes that provide informative context. These notes will only be visible on the Birdwatch site during the initial phase of the pilot project and other participants will be able to evaluate the usefulness of these notes.

Coleman also clarified that once the beta phase is complete, the ultimate goal will be to make notes visible directly on Tweets for Twitter’s global audience, “when there is buy-in from a broad and diverse set of contributors “. For now, the priority remains to develop Birdwatch and gain confidence that the context it produces is useful and appropriate.

Meanwhile, Twitter is implementing proactive measures to ensure transparency in Birdwatch, including:

  • Make all data provided to Birdwatch publicly available and downloadable in TSV files.
  • Publish the code publicly in the Birdwatch Guide while the platform develops the algorithms behind the scenes.
  • The initial rating system can be found here.

“We know there are a number of challenges to building a community-driven system like this – from making it resistant to attempts at manipulation to ensuring it is not dominated by a simple majority or skewed based on the distribution of contributors. Coleman wrote. While it can be “messy” at times, the platform has faith in this approach to curb a common problem plaguing the social media landscape for marketers and users alike.

Partner with Revue to support thought leadership

In a separate update, Twitter is moving to support thought leadership across the platform through the acquisition of Revue, a service that helps anyone create and get paid for their newsletters.

“Writers and curators of long-form content are a valuable part of the conversation, and it’s critical that we offer them new ways to create and share their content and, most importantly, help them grow and better connect with their audiences,” said Mike Park , Twitter’s Vice President of Publishing Products.

For now, Revue will remain a standalone service, according to the announcement, with its team’s goal of helping Twitter users stay informed about their interests and favorite thought leaders, while also introducing new ways for writers to monetize the own audience, regardless of whether they are established in a publication, an external and personal website, on Twitter or elsewhere.

While many writers are turning to other sources to publish longer content, beyond the 280 character limit, Twitter hopes this is a solution that helps them create and share their content and be a better home for them and their audience .

“We’re imagining many ways to do this, from allowing people to sign up for newsletters from their favorite Twitter followers, to new settings for writers to host conversations with their subscribers,” Park added.

Featured image courtesy of Digital Information World.

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