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Twitter is recruiting volunteer 'Birdwatchers' to monitor tweets for misinformation

Twitter is recruiting users to crack down on misinformation running rampant across the site.

The social media site announced the launch of Birdwatch on Monday, a system of empowering certain users to flag misleading tweets. So-called Birdwatchers will discuss what's misleading about a tweet and then be able to rank those comments, with the goal of allowing seemingly unpaid users to take a hands-on approach to combating falsities.

To start, NBC News reports Birdwatch will only be open to a few users who apply to join the program — traditional fact-checkers and other high-profile people, mostly. Birdwatch replies to tweets will meanwhile only be visible on a separate section of the site. But eventually Twitter hopes to include the replies on the regular site, building a Wikipedia-style system of relying on users to combat misinformed and blatantly false tweets.

Brandy Zadrozny, who covers online misinformation for NBC News, said the program has "promise," but cautioned that Twitter doesn't seem to have a plan to prevent retaliation against Birdwatchers. Twitter said it'll adapt the program based on user feedback before debuting it on the whole site.

Birdwatch comes after Twitter spent months trying to combat and flag falsities about the 2020 election, and as it continues to face misinformation about COVID-19.