Twitter Fact-Checkers Can Now Use Birdwatch Aliases to Hide Their Identity
(Photo : Image from Daddy Mohlala on Unsplash) Twitter Fact-Checkers Can Now Use Birdwatch Aliases to Hide Their Identity

Twitter is now rolling out aliases to fact-checkers that are joining its Birdwatch program. This would help protect the identity of the program's participants to make sure that they aren't potentially attacked.

Twitter Rolls Out Birdwatch Aliases

According to the story by Engadget, ever since the start of this year, Twitter has started operating its pilot program called Birdwatch that takes a crowdsourcing approach towards fact-checking directly from other Twitter users. The company is now introducing a brand new way for the participants to be able to hide their identity whenever they decide to append a note to someone's tweet.

As of the moment, the company stated that it would be automatically giving out aliases for those Twitter users that decide to join the Birdwatch program. These aliases are in no way publicly associated with the users' Twitter providing them with a safe identity when they participate in what the Birdwatch program is designed for, which is fact-checking.

The Benefit of Using Aliases in the Birdwatch Program

The company announced in a blog post that they want everyone to feel comfortable when they are contributing to the Birdwatch program. The aliases are supposed to let users write and rate notes without needing to share their Twitter username.

Twitter hopes that the new feature will help reduce total bias by putting an emphasis on what is being written instead of the identity of those joining the Birdwatch. As per recent research, aliases are found to help make people feel more comfortable when it comes to crossing partisan lines or even criticizing their own side without having to fall into peer pressure or retribution.

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Advantage of Using Twitter Aliases

Twitter is also going to roll out profile pages alongside Birdwatch aliases in order for users to easily see someone's previous contributions when it comes to the Birdwatch program. The company says it is now doing this in order to ensure that aliases don't really come at the expense of users' accountability.

Towards the end, every single note on someone's public Birdwatch profile will also include the rating that the contribution has earned, which will let participants know what the community thinks. The new aliases aim to help with the "reliability" program that has been a core issue of the program since its launch.

For those that decided to join the Birdwatch program before the current announcement of aliases, all of the previous contributions made will automatically fall under the user's new alias. Since a number of people might be able to find the connection between a person's Birdwatch profile and their Twitter account based on the previous fact checks they might have seen before the feature's rollout, the company says that Birdwatch program participants can simply DM the Birdwatch account in order to get their previous contributions deleted.


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Written by Urian B.

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