LONDON: Twitter said Monday it was introducing aliases for participants in its Birdwatch moderation tool, a fact-checking mechanism to combat misleading or inaccurate information.
Introduced as a pilot in January, Birdwatch enables Twitter users who are part of the program to fact-check tweets and add notes to questionable tweets, helping to flag misinformation and harmful content.
Twitter said that contributors in Birdwatch “overwhelmingly voiced a preference for contributing under aliases. This preference was strongest for women and Black contributors.”
As a result, the social media platform will automatically introduce aliases for new Birdwatch users who are not publicly associated with their Twitter accounts.
“We know that not everyone feels comfortable contributing under their @handle. From our most active contributors to prospective participants, people overwhelmingly voiced a preference for contributing under aliases,” Twitter said in a blog post. “We want everyone to feel comfortable contributing to Birdwatch, and aliases let you write and rate notes without sharing your Twitter username.”
Twitter is also rolling out profile pages that will make it easy to see someone’s past Birdwatch contributions, so there will be a way to track activity even without the users’ real handle.
Social media sites have come under fire over the past year for not doing enough to halt the spread of misinformation and harmful content.
Prince Harry said recently he warned Twitter boss Jack Dorsey ahead of the US Capitol riots that the social media site was being used to stage political unrest in Washington.
In September, Twitter launched a safety feature allowing users to temporarily block accounts for seven days for using harmful language or sending uninvited replies, in a move aimed at fighting harassment on social media sites.