twitter community notes

Twitter incorporated some changes to its Community Notes feature yesterday that will notify the users that interacted with a tweet by liking, retweeting, or commenting that the content has been fact-checked by others.

By doing this, users can go back to these posts to see if they still like the content after some background has been provided about the facts or ideas communicated by it.

The idea of Community Notes is to provide context to certain tweets that can be used to get a better sense of what the original author is trying to convey. The program was officially launched in 2021 and was named “Birdwatch”. However, Elon Musk renamed it right after he took over the micro-blogging site.

The program was made available to users worldwide in December last year while Twitter started to accept applications from individuals in other countries aside from the United States in January.

With Community Notes, Twitter aims to make content moderation a shared task as contributors can easily debunk misleading tweets by adding appropriate context or comments to them that clarify things for other members of the community.

Community Notes is an open source initiative as anybody can see how the algorithm works by visiting the program’s GitHub. Contributors start by rating other people’s notes and they can later on move up the ladder to start making comments themselves.

Musk Taunts with Open Sourcing Twitter’s Algorithm by Next Week

Speaking of open sourcing, Elon Musk appears to be resolved to make Twitter’s algorithm visible to everyone. In a recent interaction between Elon and user Derek Smart, Musk mentioned that the source code of the platform’s algorithm could be made available to the public as soon as next week.

The head of Tesla (TSLA) has been an advocate of open sourcing even before he took over the social media company and this has always been the desire of its founder – Jack Dorsey. In fact, the former head of Twitter is currently working on what could be deemed as the open-sourced version of Twitter – Bluesky.

Twitter’s rival Mastodon is an open-source platform whose code can be used and modified by anyone to create separate servers to which users can join. These servers are created for people with shared interests, to discuss a certain specific topic, or for individuals living in the same area.

Open sourcing typically makes platforms more transparent and, for social media companies like Twitter, this could be a good idea as regulators have been pressuring them to reveal how is it that they target consumers and why people see what they see on their timelines.

Some of the most controversial social media platforms from this standpoint is TikTok, which has been accused of manipulating its algorithm to promote misinformation in collaboration with China’s ruling Communist Party.

More Engineers from Twitter Have Been Laid Off

It is unclear if Musk’s deadline will be met or even if Twitter will ultimately be open sourced as he has made bold statements like these many times that have not turned into definitive actions. In addition, the founder of SpaceX is still dispatching employees, which may further delay these plans.

Aside from its platform algorithm, Twitter is also making changes to how its ads are displayed as Musk deemed the company’s ad relevance “the worst” on Earth. In this regard, Musk said on 17 February that his team was taking “corrective actions” to change this and will turn to a model similar to the one used by Google for ad targeting, which relies on keywords rather than user activity to promote ads.

However, it appears that this project could have hit some obstacles as several engineers from the social media business were laid off last week – despite Musk’s promises that layoffs were over – including Marcin Kadluczka – the former leader of the firm’s Musk-era monetization efforts.

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