Twitter’s New Feature: How Community Notes Can Impact Your Engagement

Twitter has announced a new feature aimed at curbing the spread of fake news on its platform. The social media giant said it will now notify users if a tweet they have liked, replied to or retweeted has received a “Community Note” flagging it as potentially containing misinformation.

In a tweet from Twitter’s Community Notes account, the company said, “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.” The move was welcomed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who praised the effort as a “game changer for combating wrong information.”

Community Notes, which launched in 2021 as Birdwatch, is a “community-driven approach” to fact-checking that relies on contributions from other Twitter users. With Twitter having laid off a significant number of content moderators, the platform is relying more heavily on this feature to help combat the spread of false information.

However, as the notes are crowdsourced, they are not always reliable. A recent example highlighted by a researcher investigating Twitter Blue showed that a Community Note had incorrectly insisted that Tesla had not unsubscribed from the service. Twitter’s own data confirmed that Tesla had indeed cancelled its subscription, leading to the note being removed.

At present, Community Notes are viewable by all Twitter users around the world, but only people from the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand can contribute to them. Despite their limitations, the feature represents a step forward for the platform in its ongoing battle against misinformation.