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Twitter has launched a new feature designed to assist the site’s effort to hinder the spread of misinformation by allowing a small sub-section of users to provide context to tweets they feel are misleading.

The project, which is called Birdwatch, will be available to users on a first-come, first-served basis. It will allow users to write notes that provide context to tweets they believe require additional information to be digested by the public responsibly. 

“Birdwatch allows people to identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading or false, and write notes that provide informative context. We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable,” wrote Keith Coleman, a Twitter vice president.

Birdwatch will exist separately from the main timeline of the site, though the company intends to eventually make notes visible to the broader audience. 

Birdwatch users will be allowed to rate the notes of other Birdwatch users, an attempt to prevent bad-faith individuals from undermining the goal of the system. 

Twitter has recently begun taking dramatic action to prevent the spread of what it believes is misinformation – notably, taking the unprecedented step several weeks ago of permanently banning then-President Donald Trump’s account. Since then, the site has purged thousands of accounts and limited the functionality of others. 

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“We know there are a number of challenges toward building a community-driven system like this – from making it resistant to manipulation attempts to ensuring it isn’t dominated by a simple majority or biased based on its distribution of contributors. We’ll be focused on these things throughout the pilot,” Coleman wrote. 

Since the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic, the company has been feeling the heat to prevent the spread of misinformation about the sometimes fatal virus.

In March of 2020, the company began removing tweets it determined were “misleading and potentially harmful” as they pertained to the pandemic. In May, it introduced a series of labels to add to tweets peddling conspiracy theories about the virus, its unknown origins, and fake cures for the illness. 

Beyond just concerns about the novel coronavirus, the company created the “manipulated media” tag, which it promptly began affixing to tweets of Trump’s. In the weeks leading up to the November election, the company hit hundreds of thousands of tweets with the “disputed and potentially misleading” tag.

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Democrats

DNC deletes tweet accusing Trump of ‘glorifying white supremacy’ with Mt. Rushmore visit

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Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore

The Democratic National Committee, in a now-deleted tweet, accused President Trump of “glorifying white supremacy” in his scheduled July 3 visit to Mount Rushmore, according to a report.

“Trump has disrespected Native communities time and again,” the DNC wrote. “He’s attempted to limit their voting rights and blocked critical pandemic relief. Now he’s holding a rally glorifying white supremacy at Mount Rushmore – a region once sacred to tribal communities.”

The tweet linked to an article in the Guardian that quoted Native Americans who were critical of Trump visiting lands they contend were stolen from them.

But many Republicans captured screengrabs of the deleted tweet.

“If you support America’s founding and our heroes throughout our history you’re now ‘glorifying white supremacy’?,” wrote Elizabeth Harrington, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, linking to the DNC post.

“This is insane, historically illiterate nonsense,” she said. “When will Joe Biden condemn his own party’s hatred of America?”

GOP pollster Logan Dobson said he would like Democrats to explain what about Trump’s visit “glorifies white supremacy.”

“The fireworks? Mt. Rushmore itself? The 4th of July?”  Dobson said. “Like I think I know what they’re implying here, and the tweet was obviously designed to tell their base something, but it would be really instructive if they were actually made to answer the question.”

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Nick Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, told the Guardian that Trump’s visit is disrespectful.

“Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today,” he said.

Tilsen, president of a local activist organization, NDN Collective, likened their opposition to Trump’s visit to the toppling of Confederate statues across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25 while in Minneapolis police custody.

A request for comment from the DNC wasn’t immediately returned.

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Banned

Twitter takes action against both the Project Veritas and James O’Keefe Twitter accounts

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The Project Veritas account has been suspended and none of the account’s posts are currently visible.

Twitter has taken action against the accounts of both Project Veritas and the organization’s founder James O’Keefe.

The Project Veritas account has been suspended and none of the account’s posts are currently visible. And while O’Keefe’s account is still visible on the platform, it appears that some of his recent tweets are shown as “no longer available” and there have not been any tweets on the account on Thursday.

“WOW! Twitter has just LOCKED DOWN James O’Keefe’s and the Project Veritas account for reporting on Facebook VP Guy Rosen and his statements that Facebook ‘freezes’ comments in places that algorithms think there ‘may be’ hate speech,” Project Veritas wrote on Facebook.

NEW: Project Veritas has been suspended from Twitter pic.twitter.com/DesNZWNAcT— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 11, 2021

Screenshots that Project Veritas shared in the Facebook post show messages from Twitter stating that the Project Veritas and James O’Keefe accounts ran afoul of “rules against posting private information.” 

“You may not publish or post other people’s private information without their express authorization and permission,” the Twitter notices state.

Facebook VP of Integrity Guy Rosen can be heard in a leaked video saying: “We have a system that is able to freeze commenting on threads in cases where our systems are detecting that there may be a thread that has hate speech or violence…These are all things we’ve built over the past three-four years as part of our investments into the integrity space our efforts to protect the election.”

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Project Veritas on Wednesday released a video showing its Senior Journalist Christian Hartsock asking Rosen questions outside of a home, but Rosen did not engage with Hartsock.

James O’Keefe showed in a YouTube video that Twitter had said that his Twitter account could be reinstated if he removes tweets that violated their rules, though he said that he plans to appeal instead.

“There’s nothing in this tweet that violates private information,” O’Keefe said. “Many reporters speak with people outside on the street, it’s just what reporters do. So we’re actually not going to delete this tweet yet because I think it would be unconscionable for me to have a different standard than the mainstream press. We’re gonna actually appeal this decision. We think that Twitter has made a mistake. Reporters are currently reaching out to them for comment. Stay tuned.”

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Censorship

Shocking Twitter Senior Executive Details Plans for Political Censors and explains why they banned Trump

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Twitter Senior Executive Details Plans for Political Censorship on a Global Scale … ‘A Lot of the Work That We’ve Been Doing Over the Last Week is Work That We’ve Built on in Other Places…This is Our Global Approach’. Check out the video below:

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