Twitter to launch crowdsourced misinformation service ‘Birdwatch’

Twitter's planned misinformation-busting feature, known as “Birdwatch,” appears to be a crowdsourced way to tag tweets as misleading, include notes explaining rationale, and flag for moderation. 

Little is known about the feature, which Twitter confirmed, and TechCrunch was first to report. A moderation feature of some kind first came to light over the summer, when reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong found hints in website source code that something was in development. Twitter quickly hid that code from public view.

But late last week, reverse engineers found a similar interface, now titled “Birdwatch” in Twitter’s new iOS application code.

Twitter, like all social media companies, has struggled with how to deal with misinformation and disinformation on its platform. While many people associate misinformation and disinformation with political campaigns and social goals, it does impact the broader chief information security officer community. Misinformation about 5G causing COVID-19, for example, led to an arson attempt on a cell tower earlier this year.

Joe Uchill

Joe is a senior reporter at SC Weekly, focused on policy issues. He previously covered cybersecurity for Axios, The Hill and the Christian Science Monitor’s short-lived Passcode website.

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