Twitter is introducing aliases for attendees to its Birdwatch moderation tool so they don’t have to include their usernames in notes they leave on other people’s tweets, the company said in a blog post. Monday. The social media platform launched the Birdwatch pilot in January as a way to fact-check tweets that may contain misleading or inaccurate information. But the company said the Birdwatch pilot program contributors “overwhelmingly expressed a preference for contributing under pseudonyms. This preference was strongest for black women and contributors.
Introducing Birdwatch aliases! We want everyone to feel comfortable contributing to Birdwatch, and aliases allow you to write and review notes without sharing your Twitter username. pic.twitter.com/ROlbpYvT7u
– Birdwatch (@birdwatch) 22 November 2021
Twitter said its research shows that aliases have the potential to reduce bias by focusing not on the author of a Birdwatch note but on the content of the note. He also found that pseudonyms can help “reduce polarization by helping people feel comfortable crossing partisan lines.”
Twitter launched a pilot of the Birdwatch program in January, which allows participating users to check tweets and add notes with additional context. Birdwatching participants can also rate each other’s grades. Notes are not otherwise visible on Twitter but are displayed on the public Birdwatch website. Applicants to the Birdwatch program are invited to commit to act in good faith and to “be of service, even to those who disagree”, as conditions of participation: “To contribute in a meaningful and constructive way to help others. to stay informed. Do not try to play or manipulate the system.
Twitter also said Monday it was rolling out Birdwatch profile pages “to ensure this change does not come at the expense of liability.” This will make past user contributions to Birdwatch visible and allow contributors to be “responsible” for the reviews their ratings receive.
For people participating in the Birdwatch pilot who contributed under their Twitter username before Monday, all previous contributions will now appear as from their chosen alias, not their Twitter username. “That said, if someone who’s ever read one of your notes remembers the username that wrote it, they could possibly infer your alias,” the company noted, adding that users could choose to delete all of their previous contributions to Birdwatch by contacting Twitter. directly into a DM at @birdwatch.