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The promises and perils of Birdwatch – Source

Twitter has spent years and millions of dollars fighting falsehoods with a now well-worn arsenal—fact-checks and warning labels and context labels and algorithmic tweaks and bans and bans on the President of the United States—but this week the company unveiled a totally new weapon: us.

Select Twitter users who participate in the new program, called Birdwatch, can identify tweets they believe are misleading, write notes that provide context to the tweet, and rate the quality of other participants’ notes, the company says. The eventual goal is to add community-written notes directly beneath Tweets, through what Twitter calls “consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors.” (The pilot starts with 1,000 qualified users; you can apply here.)

It’s actually an old idea, harnessing the wisdom of the crowd that powers Wikipedia and a range of decades-old digital forums. But Twitter is not Wikipedia, and within minutes of the debut of Birdwatch many people, well, took to…

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