Twitter Debuts Fact-Checking ‘Birdwatch’ to Deal with Misinformation

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Twitter, Twitter is under fire after it failed to remove a hashtag calling for the burning of priests

Twitter Debuts Fact-Checking ‘Birdwatch’ to Deal with Misinformation

On Monday, Twitter introduced “Birdwatch,” a community-based approach to blocking what is considered misinformation.

The program, which is currently in its pilot phase, calls for Twitter users in the U.S to test it out by adding notes “with helpful context to Tweets that you think are misleading.”

“For now, these notes won’t appear directly on Twitter, but anyone in the US can view them at:,” the social media giant wrote on its Twitter Support account.

“We'll use the notes and your feedback to help shape this program and learn how to reach our goal of letting the Twitter community decide when and what context is added to a Tweet,” they added. 

Keith Coleman, Twitter Vice President of Products published a blog on Monday explaining how Birdwatch works and how people can get involved.

“We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable,” he wrote, adding that notes will eventually be made visible “directly on Tweets for the global Twitter audience, when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors.”

In the meantime, the first phase of the new feature will make notes visible on Birdwatch’s Twitter account.

Coleman also noted that Birdwatch has received “broad general support” so far after conducting over “100 qualitative interviews with individuals across the political spectrum who use Twitter.”

According to Faithwire, Nick Pickles, director of public policy strategy and development for Twitter, told Reason that the objective of the program “is to move the policy debate about content moderation beyond a framing of deciding whether things are true or false or not."

"People on Twitter desire to be part of the conversation," he added.

Twitter’s newly launched initiative arrives weeks after the tech giant permanently banned former President Donald Trump from its platform, citing “risk of further incitement of violence” after the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S Capitol. 

Trump has since considered creating his own social media platform in the near future. 

Photo credit: Unsplash/Brett Jordan

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.