The Washington Post

Twitter to expand user fact-checking ability


Twitter will expand its community fact-checking project called Birdwatch, the social media company said Wednesday, its novel approach to a new form of content moderation.

Birdwatch launched last year, allowing some Twitter users to debunk misleading tweets by attaching notes to the content to provide context or point to accurate sources.

Social media platforms including Twitter have long faced competing pressures on how to moderate content that appears on their services. Critics have accused the companies of doing too little to remove harmful posts; others argue the platforms should protect free speech.

Tweets with Birdwatch notes are left up on the service, and its algorithmi­c distributi­on to other users is not affected.

Until now, Birdwatch was a limited experiment with 15,000 contributo­rs writing factchecki­ng notes. Twitter said it will now add about 1,000 new contributo­rs per week.

The project has produced encouragin­g results, Twitter said. People are 15 percent to 35 percent less likely to “like” or retweet content that has a Birdwatch note attached to it. They are also 20 percent to 40 percent less likely to agree with a potentiall­y misleading tweet after reading a Birdwatch note about it.

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