Twitter’s adding a new way to improve the accuracy and value of its Community Notes, via a new qualifier that will require Community Notes contributors to ‘unlock’ the ability to write Notes by first rating other Notes submitted in the app.
As explained by Twitter:
“Everyone who joins Community Notes can rate notes. They can unlock the ability to write notes by helping to identify helpful and unhelpful notes. To unlock the ability to write, new contributors need to earn a Rating Impact of at least 5.”
Rating Impact relates to how often a contributor’s ratings helped the community identify notes which then went on to earn a status of ‘Helpful’ or ‘Not Helpful’ among the broader user group.
“[Rating Impact] increases when a contributor rates a note before it has reached a status, and when their rating matches the status reached by the note. Impact decreases when a contributor rates a note opposite the status it later reaches.”
So you’re incentivized to rate notes, as early as possible in the process, and to rate them in a way that reflects what the Twitter community will also rate them, which should help to weed out people looking to influence Community Notes with their own bias.
“To increase this impact, you should look for notes that still need more ratings, and rate them. The best ways to do this are by browsing the ‘Needs Your Help’ tab in Community Notes, and by looking out for alerts when a note needs your rating.”
In addition to this, there are also Writing Impact points for Community Notes creators, which are also rated based on audience feedback. If you don’t maintain a high enough Writing Impact rating, you’ll lose your ability to write Notes.
So, essentially, the system is being built to ensure that Community Notes participants are not outliers, and that their ratings are viewed as helpful by the broader Twitter community. Which, as noted, will help to ensure that the system isn’t hijacked by people looking to push a certain agenda, because if the majority of Twitter users don’t find your Notes helpful, you lose the capacity to keep contributing.
It’s a good update, which should help to maintain the quality of the notes submitted – though whether it will help to make the option a key moderation filter in the app remains to be seen.
Community Notes has become a key focus for new chief Elon Musk, with the view being that these additional pointers and advisory notes, submitted by Twitter users themselves, can provide another means to build a more self-sustaining moderation process, enabling Twitter to be more hands off with what people share in the app.
That aligns with Elon’s ‘free speech’ ethos. Musk believes that people should be allowed to say what they like in the app, and while some comments will always see less reach, because they violate Twitter’s rules, Musk wants to move away from removals and suspensions, instead letting the user community append such tweets with notes that can provide additional context.
Will that work? I mean, it might help people get a better understanding of the issues at hand, and the accuracy of tweeted remarks, and it could be a helpful guide tool on divisive, and especially misleading remarks.
A lot depends on how active contributors are, and how many Notes are included, as to how much impact they can then have on slowing the spread of misinformation in the app.
Seems we’ll find out either way, with Twitter expanding Community Notes to more regions, and opening up the program to more contributors over time.
You can sign up to become a Community Notes contributor here.