Birdwatch Similar to Wikipedia as it Solicits User Input
As one of the latest Twitter features, Birdwatch allows users to fact-check tweets that they suspect are misleading. The feature is similar to Wikipedia in how it lets users rate tweets and provide input.
Problems with Birdwatch
The new feature was launched by Twitter earlier in the year. While the system promotes itself as a means to provide accurate information, it is clear that it is going to turn into a partisan battle. Both sides of the aisle have leveraged Birdwatch to promote their agenda. However, because Twitter generally leans to the left, that side of the aisle will likely have an advantage when it comes to promoting bias.
The goal behind Birdwatch is to allegedly go to battle against the proliferation of fake news on the internet. It has become easier and easier for anyone to promote their agenda as fact. This is an attempt by Twitter to provide some accountability.
Already Being Used for Partisan Spin
Birdwatch is already being used as an avenue to spin partisan rhetoric. For example, Twitter users Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Madison Cawthorn have been under fire for tweets in recent weeks.
In addition, many Twitter users have fact-checked conservative statements by countering with their own left-wing talking points. Common narratives include denying that Antifa was at Capitol Hill during the January 6 riots or denying that Democratic election reform laws did not abolish voter ID laws.
Twitter is already looking into how effective the feature will be in filtering out false statements, signaling that it is not working as intended.