Blindingly amplifying social media views or posts is one of the main reasons for the rapid spread of disinformation. Over the years, public figures have posted or retweeted false information on Twitter. The social network is now giving the chance to retract a retweet for such cases through a new Community Notes – its crowdsourced fact-checking program -.
Twitter will now notify users if a tweet they’ve liked, retweeted, or commented on receives contextual information from Community Notes contributors. “This helps give people additional context they might otherwise miss,” the company said in a tweet.
Liking, retweeting, or replying to a tweet gives it some sort of relevance in recommendation algorithms — and Twitter has been pushing its algorithmic feed for a while now. If a Community Notes contributor’s context can negate the original view, chances are people will delete their likes or retweets.
The program was first introduced under the name “Birdwatch” in 2021 for users in the US. After Elon Musk bought Twitter, he renamed the program “Community Notes” – even as Jack Dorsey thought it was the “most boring Facebook name ever.”
In December, Twitter started showing Community Notes to all users around the world. In January, the company began accepting notes from contributors in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, excluding the US. So the global context is still missing in the Community Notes program.
In recent months, Musk & co. made changes to the algorithm, such as adjusting the visibility of low-quality notes, expanding them the type of contributor notesand stabilize the impact score of contributions.
As the new management has laid off several people, including contractors who work in the security and trust department, Twitter’s reliance on algorithms and crowdsourcing for content moderation has rapidly increased. This burden could further increase as the company has cut off free API access to researchers, many of whom have helped point out hate speech and misinformation on the platform.