Twitter developing feature called Birdwatch to fight misinformation
Twitter is developing a new product called Birdwatch, reports have said. According to the company, the development attempts at addressing misinformation across its platform by providing more context for tweets, in the form of notes.
According to a report in Tech Crunch, tweets can be added to ‘Birdwatch’ from the tweet’s drop-down menu, where other blocking and reporting tools are available today. The report adds that a small binoculars icon will appear on tweets published to the Twitter Timeline. When the icon is clicked, users will be directed to a screen where they can view the tweet’s history of notes.
The report adds that based on screenshots of Birdwatch unearthed through reverse engineering techniques, a new tab called ‘Birdwatch Notes’ will be added to Twitter’s sidebar navigation.
The feature was first uncovered by technology blogger Jane Manchin Wong, who found the system through Twitter’s website. She had posted, “Twitter is working on a moderation tool to monitor misinformations on Twitter.”
According to Wong, moderators can flag tweets, vote on whether it is misleading, and add a note about it as well.
Twitter is working on a moderation tool to monitor misinformations on Twitter
Moderators can flag tweets, vote on whether it is misleading, and add a note about it
(I made up my own note to show what it currently looks like) pic.twitter.com/YIa6zt58Fj
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 5, 2020
At that time the name ‘Birdwatch’ was yet to be assigned. The new development comes after social media consultant Matt Navarra discovered a very similar interface in Twitter’s code, this time on iOS. In a series of tweets he described the feature, stating that Birdwatch looks like it allows users to attach notes to a tweet and “May allow you to create public and private notes.”
New Twitter feature? ‘Birdwatch’?! ? Any guesses what it does? pic.twitter.com/1vmpZdTKLi — Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 30, 2020
According to Narvana, the notes can be viewed when clicking on the binoculars button on the tweet itself.