Twitter adds new qualification process for community notes to improve note value
Twitter is adding a new way to improve the accuracy and value of its community notes, via a new qualification which will require Community Notes contributors to “unlock” the ability to write notes by first rating other notes submitted to the app.
As explained by Twitter:
“Anyone who joins Community Notes can rate notes. They can unlock the ability to write notes by helping to identify useful and useless notes. To unlock the opportunity to write, new contributors must earn one Assessment effect of at least 5.“
Assessment Impact applies how often a contributor’s ratings helped the community identify notes that were then given the status of “Helpful” or “Not Helpful” among the wider user group.
“[Rating Impact] increases when a contributor rates a note before it has reached a status, and when their rating matches the status the note achieves. The effect diminishes when a contributor evaluates a note opposite to the status it later reaches.“
So you’re encouraged to rate notes, as early in the process as possible, and to rate them in a way that reflects what the Twitter community would also rate them, which should help weed out people who want to influence community notes with their own bias.
“To increase this effect, you should look for notes that still need more reviews and rate them. The best ways to do this is by browsing ‘Need your help’ tab in community notes, and by checking for alerts when a note needs your review.“
In addition to this, there are also Writing Impact points for Community Notes creators, which are also rated based on audience feedback. If you do not maintain a high enough writing power rating, you will lose the ability to write notes.
So essentially, the system is built to ensure that Community Notes participants are not outliers and that their reviews are seen as useful by the wider Twitter community. Which, as mentioned, will help ensure that the system isn’t hijacked by people who want to push a particular agenda, because if the majority of Twitter users don’t find your notes useful, you lose the capacity to continue contributing.
It’s a good update, which should help maintain the quality of the submitted notes – but whether it will help make the option a key moderation filter in the app remains to be seen.
Community Notes have become a key focus for new CEO Elon Musk, considering that these additional tips and advisory notes, submitted by Twitter users themselves, could provide another way to build a more self-sustaining moderation process, allowing Twitter to become more hands off with what people share in the app.
It 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 removal and suspension, instead allowing the user community to add such tweets with notes that can provide additional context.
Will it work? I mean, it can help people better understand the issues and accuracy of tweeted comments, and it can be a useful guidance tool for divisive, and especially misleading, comments.
A lot depends on how active contributors are, and how many notes are included, for how big an impact they can have on slowing down the spread of misinformation in the app.
Looks like we’ll find out anyway, 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.