Fake news can travel fast on Twitter when amplified by likes and retweets, but now you’ll be alerted if you’ve been an accessory to one of those lies. Starting today, you’ll be notified if a tweet you’ve liked, replied to or retweeted receives a Community Note showing possible misinformation, the company said in a tweet spotted by TechCrunch.
“Starting today, you’ll get a heads up if a Community Note starts showing on a Tweet you’ve replied to, Liked or Retweeted. This helps give people extra context that they might otherwise miss,” Twitter’s Community Notes account tweeted. CEO Elon Musk lauded the effort in a quote tweet, calling Community Notes a “game changer for combating wrong information.”
Starting today, you’ll get a heads up if a Community Note starts showing on a Tweet you’ve replied to, Liked or Retweeted. This helps give people extra context that they might otherwise miss. pic.twitter.com/LIcGgl2zdJ
— Community Notes (@CommunityNotes) February 21, 2023
Community Notes launched in 2021 as Birdwatch, a “community-driven approach” that crowdsources fact checks directly from other Twitter users. Twitter now relies on it more than ever, though, as it has laid off a large number of content moderators. Notes are viewable by all users across the globe, but only people from the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand can contribute them at the moment.
Since they’re crowdsourced, Community Notes are far from reliable. In a recent example, a researcher investigating Twitter Blue noted that a number of high-profile accounts including Tesla had halted their subscriptions to the service. A Community Note insisted that was wrong, because Tesla was already a verified business, so it couldn’t also be subscribed to Twitter Blue. However, Twitter’s own data via its official API showed that Tesla did indeed unsubscribe from Twitter Blue, and the Community Note was subsequently removed.