Twitter has announced that it will be employing “a new community-driven approach to help address misleading information” called Birdwatch which news media are comparing to the model of content moderation used by Wikipedia.
“Twitter unveiled a feature Monday meant to bolster its efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation by tapping users in a fashion similar to Wikipedia to flag potentially misleading tweets,” reports NBC. “The new system allows users to discuss and provide context to tweets they believe are misleading or false. The project, titled Birdwatch, is a standalone section of Twitter that will at first only be available to a small set of users, largely on a first-come, first-served basis.”
“We know there are a number of challenges toward building a community-driven system like this — from making it resistant to manipulation attempts to ensuring it isn’t dominated by a simple majority or biased based on its distribution of contributors,” Twitter’s official statement says. “We’ll be focused on these things throughout the pilot.”
Such claims provide little reassurance for anyone who’s familiar with the establishment narrative control operations which take place on Wikipedia in exactly that way. The Grayzone‘s Ben Norton did a great two-part report last year on the way concerted, aggressive efforts by a small group of shady-looking Wikipedia editors has succeeded in dominating the site’s articles which relate to western imperialist agendas and the reporters who support and oppose those agendas, including getting outlets like WikiLeaks and The Grayzone banned from use as sources despite their having no history of false reports.
“The internet encyclopedia has become a deeply undemocratic platform, dominated by Western state-backed actors and corporate public relations flacks, easily manipulated by powerful forces,” wrote Norton. “And it is run by figures who often represent these same elite interests, or align with their regime-change politics.”
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