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Twitter tests social credit style fact-checking system for politicians and public figures

Users are awarded “points” for fact-checking tweets.
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Leaked documents have revealed that Twitter is testing a China-social credit style community-based points system that encourages users to fact-check “harmfully misleading” tweets in exchange for “points.”

In the leaked demo, this feature is titled “Community Notes” and asks users to “contribute in good faith and act like a good neighbor.”

The demo of the Community Notes feature asks users to fact-check “harmfully misleading” tweets in exchange for “points” (NBC News)
The demo of the Community Notes feature asks users to fact-check “harmfully misleading” tweets in exchange for “points” (NBC News)

The demo reads “the more points you earn, the more your vote counts” and sums up the goal of Community Notes as: “Together we act to help each other understand what’s happening in the world, and protect each other from those who would drive us apart.”

The Community Notes feature works by asking users to rate whether a tweet is “likely” or “unlikely” to be “harmfully misleading” and then asking them to rate how many Twitter users will agree with them on a percentage scale.

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Twitter users are also asked why they believe the tweet is “harmfully misleading.”

The demo of the Community Notes feature asks users to rate whether tweets are harmfully misleading and to explain why (Twitter - @oneunderscore__)
The demo of the Community Notes feature asks users to rate whether tweets are harmfully misleading and to explain why (Twitter – @oneunderscore__)

Another screenshot from this leaked demo shows how these Community Notes could be applied to tweets with bright orange badges on tweets that have been classed as “harmfully misleading.”

Below these tweets is a “Top Reports” section which shows the fact-checks on the tweets.

The demo shows how these Community Notes could be applied to “harmfully misleading” tweets (NBC News)
The demo shows how these Community Notes could be applied to “harmfully misleading” tweets (NBC News)

Twitter has confirmed that this leaked demo “is one possible iteration of a new policy to target misinformation” which will be introduced on March 5.

It appears that this social credit fact-checking system will be used on tweets from politicians and public figures.

Several Twitter users have expressed skepticism about whether this system will be used fairly or instead just push one side of the narrative.

This leaked demo comes just a few weeks after Twitter said that “manipulated media” would be targeted under this same March 5 “misinformation” policy – a decision that many Twitter users saw as an attack on memes.

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