Twitter is introducing aliases for participants in its Birdwatch moderation tool so they don’t have to include their usernames in notes they leave on others’ tweets, the company announced in a blog post Monday. The social media platform launched the pilot of Birdwatch in January as a way to crowdsource fact-checking on tweets that might contain misleading or inaccurate information. But the company said contributors in the pilot Birdwatch program “overwhelmingly voiced a preference for contributing under aliases. This preference was strongest for women and Black contributors.”
Introducing Birdwatch aliases! We want everyone to feel comfortable contributing to Birdwatch, and aliases let you write and rate notes without sharing your Twitter username. pic.twitter.com/ROlbpYvT7u
— Birdwatch (@birdwatch) November 22, 2021
Twitter said its research shows that aliases have the potential to reduce bias by putting the focus not on the author of a Birdwatch note but on the note’s content. It also found that aliases may help to “reduce polarization by helping people feel comfortable crossing partisan lines.”
Twitter introduced a pilot of the Birdwatch program in January, which allows participating users to fact-check tweets and add notes with additional context.