Called “Birdwatch”, or “the bird that observes”, the new tool set up by the American firm should allow users to help identify and pin the misleading information shared on Twitter.
“Birdwatch allows people to identify information in tweets that they think are misleading and to write notes that provide context. […] Ultimately, our objective is to make the notes visible directly on the publications for the global audience of Twitter, when there is a consensus of a large and diverse set of contributors ”: this is how the American giant Twitter summarizes his approach in a statement published January 25. And the microblogging site to specify that it is in the first phase of the project, during which the notes, for the moment written by participants from “all the political spectrum”, are “only visible on a separate site”.
“The ratings will have no effect on how Internet users see tweets or recommendations from our system,” said Twitter, whose initiative is presented in a short video in English on the social network.
The launch of this project comes nearly 20 days after the ban from Donald Trump’s social network, which was followed by nearly 90 million Internet users. A decision taken in the wake of the events of January 6 at the Capitol, and which had been followed by the disappearance of many other accounts of the platform.
As a reminder, ahead of the last American presidential election, Twitter has also set up various labels through which the American firm claims to want to contain the influence of foreign entities on Internet users, in particular via algorithmic processes reducing the scope of some publications. Twitter has for example set up a labeling system targeting media suspected of being affiliated with a State. An approach that is still imprecise, since the social network has refrained from stamping certain state media recognized as such, and has labeled others that dispute the affiliation that has been attributed to them.
These stamps, decided unilaterally by Twitter, will they also be the subject of critical notes from users of the platform? Nothing planned to date by the blue bird in this area.