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Twitter Launches Birdwatch to Combat Misinformation

Hind Khoudary Hind Khoudary
27th January 2021
Twitter Launches Birdwatch to Combat Misinformation

2020 witnessed many new tools online that sought to combat misinformation on social media platforms. Twitter and Facebook started labeling false and misleading posts and collaborated with international fact-checker websites to ban the spread of misinformation. But despite all the features and tools to tackle misinformation, false news is still widely circulating online.


As fact-checkers, we are not sure if quarantine is the reason for the daily endless misleading claims online. We have been receiving claims in both English and Arabic from many different countries throughout the pandemic. It was a difficult year for all journalists and editors, working from home and not being able to go into the field due to COVID-19’s restrictions. However, Misbar’s team found the features on Twitter to be helpful during the investigation process.


Twitter has launched several features to tackle misinformation, such as the roll-out of a “manipulated media” label on tweets and an additional feature on retweets. Twitter users have played a role before in flagging potentially problematic tweets for the company, but a new initiative makes users even more involved in the content moderation process.


Birdwatch is a fact-checking program willing to intend to fight misinformation. Twitter announced that the Birdwatch program is meant to address misinformation on the platform by allowing users to fact-check tweets. Users participating in the pilot can write notes on individual tweets. The notes won’t be publicly visible on Twitter itself – only on the public Birdwatch website. Pilot users can also rate notes submitted by other participants in the program.


Twitter has enlisted some participants in the US for the pilot project. They will share their notes on a separate website, where they can flag tweets from a dropdown menu connected to the main Twitter interface. Misbar’s USA Senior Editor, @DrSuzyWrites, signed up for the new Birdwatch program to help continue Misbar’s fight against fake news.



“We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable,” said Twitter Vice President of Product Keith Coleman.

The launch of Birdwatch comes at a time when Twitter is under criticism for growing misinformation on its platform.


Misbar is looking forward to being part of all the initiatives that will help fight the spread of misinformation.

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