Accuracy in Media

Twitter on Wednesday announced the expansion of Birdwatch, a fact-checking program the social media platform began testing last year that has contributors flag “misleading” tweets with “notes that provide informative context.”

In a product announcement two months prior to the November midterm elections, Twitter said it was updating its Birdwatch onboarding process,  expanding its contributor base and elevating the visibility of its information-policing notes.

Users who see a Birdwatch note on a tweet are 20-40% less likely to agree with “a potentially misleading Tweet” and “15-35% less likely to Like or Retweet a Tweet” than those who see the tweet by itself, Twitter reported.

Twitter announced in January that it had not been enforcing its “civic integrity policy” with regard to so-called “lies” about the 2020 election since March 2021. The policy was responsible for 300,000 tweets receiving contextual labels for content deemed potentially misleading or disputed over the last couple of weeks of the 2020 presidential election.

Many Twitter fact-checks related to the 2020 presidential election have since been debunked as evidence of irregularities marring the election — especially in the swing states critical to Joe Biden’s election — has continued to accumulate in the intervening two years.

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