Twitter launches Birdwatch to make users fight disinformation themselves

Twitter launches Birdwatch to make users fight disinformation themselves

SAN FRANCISCO | Twitter launched a new anti-disinformation tool on Monday that directly appeals to users, two weeks after banning Donald Trump from his platform, a decision that highlighted his power in terms of regulating free speech.

Birdwatch is intended to allow volunteers in the United States to flag posts and add context notes to them that will be readable only on a separate site initially.

“Our goal is to make these notes visible directly below tweets to the global Twitter audience, when there is consensus among a large and diverse employee base,” said Keith Coleman, a vice president of the company, in a press release.

According to a preliminary survey conducted by Twitter, “users appreciate that ratings come from the community (rather than the central Twitter authority), and that ratings provide context to help them understand and assess a tweet (rather than focusing on tags like ‘true’ or ‘false’), ”he added.

The San Francisco-based company recently took one of the most radical and controversial steps in its history by suspending former US President Donald Trump for inciting violence during the January 6 Capitol riots.

Last week, Twitter founder and boss Jack Dorsey expressed his concerns on the subject. He believes the decision was the “right one” but a “failure on our part to promote healthy conversation”.

“This sets a precedent that I find dangerous: the power that an individual or a company has over part of the global public conversation,” he admitted in an introspective monologue.

The network of tweets was the main communication tool of the billionaire Republican, who used it on a daily basis to speak directly to his 88 million subscribers. The former president has also been suspended from Facebook, Snapchat and Twitch, among others, sparking indignant reactions from heads of state or NGOs worried about the power accumulated by social networks on freedom of expression.

“We know that building a community-based system like this is going to pose many challenges – it has to be resistant to attempts at manipulation so that it is not dominated by a simple majority of contributors or contributors. prejudice, ”Keith Coleman said.

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