Starting Thursday, a randomized group of U.S. Twitter users will start to see "Birdwatch" fact-check notes on tweets. The company piloted Birdwatch — a moderation tool allowing users to flag and comment on potentially misleading tweets — back in 2021. The announcement comes after a Washington Post report criticizing the company for not rolling out the tool sooner.
Twitter first sampled the feature with 10,000 contributors. According to its announcement, the company surveyed a random group of U.S. Twitter users and found that the majority of people thought Birdwatch notes were helpful. People were also 20% to 40% less likely to believe a potentially misleading tweet with a Birdwatch note. Going forward, a small group of people will see Birdwatch notes on some tweets and will be able to rate the quality of those notes.
The goal of Birdwatch is to stop the spread of misinformation on Twitter as fast as possible. Users can note and comment on problematic tweets much more quickly than Twitter can. Even if the tweet isn't completely false, users can ideally add much-needed context that better represent the full picture.
Twitter partnered with the Associated Press and Reuters last summer to review the Birdwatch assessments, and help the platform fight misinformation more generally.