Twitter is rolling out an updated onboarding process for Birdwatch that better incentivizes contributors to write and rate notes in a thoughtful way.
Birdwatch is Twitter’s crowdsourced moderation tool that allows users to “add helpful context to Tweets and keep people better informed”. The program is made up of a group of contributors who “help identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading and write notes that provide informative context”.
It first began testing in the US in 2021 and was updated in March of this year.
The new onboarding process gives users a “Rating Impact” score, beginning at zero, that increases by consistently rating other contributors’ notes and “reliably identifying” those that are Helpful and Not Helpful. Once a user’s score has risen to five, they can start writing notes.
Writing Helpful notes will then further increase a user’s score, while repeatedly writing notes that reach a status of Not Helpful will result in a decreasing score and could temporarily lock a contributor’s note writing ability.
To be a Birdwatch contributor, users must meet eligibility criteria including having a verified phone number from a trusted US-based carrier, no recent Twitter Rules violations, and a minimum six month-old account on Twitter.
With the expansion of onboarding, Twitter now feels comfortable to roll out the feature to larger groups of eligible applicants and increase the visibility of Helpful notes on more tweets.
Birdwatch is US-specific, and is being rolled out more broadly just as the US 2022 midterm election season kicks into full gear.