Birdwatch: How Twitter’s New Tool Will Allow Users To Mark Fake News

Applications still open.


The US election might be over, but the fight against misinformation continues. 
The latest blow in that effort comes from Twitter, which announced Birdwatch, a “community-driven” service that crowdsources fact checks directly from other Twitter users.

In the current pilot phase, participants who apply as “Birdwatchers” can write notes identifying and rebutting misinformation which will be live on a separate Birdwatch page. The goal is to eventually integrate them directly into tweets “when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors.”


For now, the program is only available for people living in the US, who must provide a verified phone number and email address, as well as having no recent rule violations against their Twitter accounts. 

“We know there are a number of challenges toward building a community-driven system like this — from making it resistant to manipulation attempts to ensuring it isn’t dominated by a simple majority or biased based on its distribution of contributors,” Twitter Vice President of Product Keith Coleman wrote in a blog post. “We’ll be focused on these things throughout the pilot.”

The launch of Birdwatch comes as Twitter and other online platforms continue to face public pressure for their role in spreading misleading information online.

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