This might finally be the end of the hurricane street shark phenomenon. X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, updated its crowdsourced fact-checking Community Notes feature to tag videos directly and automatically populate those notes onto any matching videos. The same tagging was recently added to images with Community Notes, and last week, the platform added the ability to see the number of matching images that apply to each fact-check. Now, approved Community Notes will automatically show up every time a flagged video is posted or reshared.
According to a post on the tool’s X account, a select group of Community Notes power users, known as “Top Writers” (if you have to ask what that is, you’re probably not a part of the club), can now submit added context to potentially misleading video content. The platform said this is a “highly-scalable way” to add additional context to AI-generated videos and misleading video edits.
X’s efforts at crowdsourcing moderation haven’t been as successful as its current owner often claims. Critics such as MediaWise director Alex Mahadevan have called Community Notes “lackluster” when it comes to combating bad information. Others have pointed out that user-submitted fact-checks can often amplify misinformation or add fuel to the fire, such as when a Community Note on a post falsely claimed that Logan Paul’s fiancee appeared in a porn video linked to the actual video. As the Poynter Institute noted, Community Notes have to be approved by users from both sides of the political spectrum — this often means misinformation on politically volatile topics goes unchecked.
If you’re an eligible Community Notes contributor and come across a misleading video on your timeline, you now have the option to add a note on either the posted video or the entire post. What happens next depends on the whims of other Community Notes users. Upon submission, Community Notes are rated for accuracy by other users in the volunteer moderation program. According to X’s guidelines, once a Community Note is rated as helpful by enough users, it shows directly on the post. But if enough users find a Community Note to be unhelpful, the submission will disappear. After two weeks, a Community Note’s status is locked.
Last year, after firing employees in charge of moderation and content quality on the platform, the Musk-owned platform launched the Community Notes feature (formerly known as Birdwatch) widely and has since expanded it to more countries beyond the US, recently claiming it will graduate to “global visibility” soon.