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Twitter expands crowdsourced fact check experiment 'Birdwatch'

Twitter expands crowdsourced fact check experiment 'Birdwatch'
A Twitter logo is seen outside the company headquarters in San Francisco, California, US, on Jan 11, 2021.
PHOTO: Reuters

Twitter Inc is expanding its crowdsourced fact-checking program by making notes on potentially misleading tweets visible to more people on Twitter, the company said in a blog post on Thursday (March 3).

The social networking site launched the project called Birdwatch last year as a novel experiment that asked Twitter users to identify misleading tweets and write notes to provide information debunking the content, which would then be appended to the original tweet.

Like other social media platforms, Twitter has long been under pressure to do more to prevent false content from spreading among its 217 million daily users.

The notes written by the 10,000 contributors in the Birdwatch pilot program have been kept on a separate website.

Now, a small group of randomised users on Twitter in the United States will be able to see Birdwatch notes directly on tweets and can rate the helpfulness of the information, Twitter said.

Over time, Twitter said it aims to expand Birdwatch to additional users in more countries.

ALSO READ: Twitter users fact check misinformation in new trial program

Some Birdwatch notes on Thursday addressed misleading content related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine last week.

A tweet on Feb 26, which had been retweeted more than 17,000 times, showed an image of British rockstar Paul McCartney waiving a Ukrainian flag while on stage in front of a crowd.

A note appended to the tweet on the Birdwatch site said the photo was taken in 2008 when McCartney performed at an Independence Concert in Kyiv.

Twitter said that in a survey, people were 20 per cent to 40 per cent less likely to agree with the content of a potentially misleading tweet after reading a Birdwatch note about it, versus those who saw the content without the note. `

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