Twitter was one of the first social media websites to introduce fact-checking features to combat misinformation. This is a feature that is usually handled by the website’s algorithms or its own staff, but Twitter will soon let some users fact-check tweets.
People who sign up for the Birdwatch program will be able to add notes to rebut false or misleading tweets, and also check the reliability of fact-checking annotations made by other users in the program.
Public fact-checking will roll out to the US first where users with verified email addresses and phone numbers, and those who haven’t violated Twitter’s policies will be able to sign up for the Birdwatch program. Twitter will allow a total of 1,000 users to sign up for the program and the fact-checking will not appear on the main website but on a separate page instead.
If the program proves to be successful, Twitter will expand the program to 100,000 users and more regions around the globe. The fact-checking results will also start appearing on the main website.
Giving the control to the public may help the social network recover some trust in the website’s systems and its ability to manage misinformation and fake news on the platform.