Twitter’s Community Notes Feature Starts Rolling Out

Twitter has begun rolling out Community Notes to all of its users globally, the company announced on Saturday, Engadget reported. Previously known as Birdwatch, the feature first debuted in 2021 under former CEO Jack Dorsey as a means for the social media to combat misinformation.

According to Engadget, Community Notes takes a crowd-sourced approach to debunking misleading tweets. Moderators who are part of the program can append notes to tweets to add “context.” Regular users can then vote on whether they find the context “helpful.” Before today, only individuals in the US could see the notes. Twitter says it will start adding contributors from other regions soon.

Engadget also reported that Elon Musk has positioned Community Notes as a critical element of his “Twitter 2.0 vision, claiming that the feature will be “a game changer for improving accuracy of Twitter.” However, as Engadget reported, as with any crowd-sourced feature, there’s the potential for Community Notes to backfire if groups use the tool to promote partisan views.

iPhone In Canada reported how Twitter described the feature. “Community Notes aims to create a better informed world by empowering people on Twitter to collaboratively add context to potentially misleading Tweets.” Twitter explained this on a Help Center page for the feature.

According to iPhone in Canada, Twitter also stated: “Contributors can leave notes on any Tweet and if enough contributors from different points of view rate that note as helpful, the note will be publicly shown on a Tweet.” The Community Notes Twitter account tweeted: “People everywhere can now see and rate notes, helping to ensure notes are helpful to those from a wide range of views”

Social Media Today reported that the idea for Community Notes is that by leaving it to the Twitter community to provide notes on tweets, that will enable Twitter to take a more hands-off approach to moderation. It won’t be Twitter’s own team that needs to dictate the rules, as such, but ‘the people’ will get to decide on what is and is not acceptable, via crowdsourced notes.

According to Social Media Today, Elon Musk said that Community Notes “will have a powerful impact on falsehoods’ in the app, because it will enable a broad range of inputs to rate the accuracy and truth of statements made within tweets, which will also, at least theoretically, remove political bias, which Musk believes has corrupted Twitter’s moderation efforts in the past. Social Media Today compared Community Notes was similar to Reddit’s up and downvotes.

Personally, I think Community Notes will become nothing more than a battleground between people who hold extremely opposing views about various topics. Each side is going to push their own narrative. I have concerns about how Community Notes will function during election cycles.