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More Twitter users will soon see fact-check notes on tweets

Birdwatch, Twitter’s community fact-checking pilot program, is expanding and getting a few updates. And for users in the U.S. that means more of them will be seeing a few tweets in their timelines that feature notes which add context to the tweets themselves.

On Wednesday, the official Twitter account for the bird app’s Birdwatch program posted a series of tweets announcing its expansion.

Buckle up! We have a handful of exciting new updates to share with y’all:
– Research on the impact Birdwatch is having
– A new system to keep contribution quality high
– Enrolling more contributors
– Expanding the visibility of notes on Twitter

— Birdwatch (@birdwatch) September 7, 2022

Among the changes announced, two of them stood out: Birdwatch will be increasing the number of its contributors and those Birdwatch tweet notes will see increased visibility in the timelines of U.S. Twitter users. According to Twitter’s blog post announcement, larger groups of eligible contributor applicants will be added to the program more frequently.

While the blog post didn’t specify how many applicants would be admitted, the official tweet thread announcement did: 1,000 eligible contributors per week. (According to Twitter’s Birdwatch guide, contributors are essentially Twitter users who volunteer to write notes to add context to tweets that may be misleading.

Contributors also rate the helpfulness and quality of their fellow contributors’ notes.) With the expansion of its number of contributors, it looks like more Twitter users will be allowed to join the program, but they’ll still have to meet a few requirements such as a verified phone number and a Twitter account that’s been around for at least six months.

Birdwatch is also expected to gain more visibility among U.S. users. Those Birdwatch notes will become more visible to these users “in the coming weeks.” And according to the tweet thread announcement, if a Birdwatch note has been rated as “Helpful” by contributors that note will be visible “for 50% of people using Twitter in the US!One of the tweets in the thread also clarified that the increase in visibility of these notes would begin “over the next week.

Next, more people will start seeing Birdwatch notes on Twitter. Notes that earn a “Helpful” status will be visible on Tweets for 50% of people using Twitter in the US! 🎉We’ll be ramping up visibility over the next week.

— Birdwatch (@birdwatch) September 7, 2022

The Birdwatch program was first introduced in 2021 as an experimental way to deal with misinformation on Twitter. Generally speaking, Birdwatch notes usually contain added context to clarify or refute claims made in tweets that may be misleading. These notes also often contain links to cited sources.

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