Birdwatch Adds Aliases to Protect Twitter Usernames

Twitter says it hopes to reduce bias, too

Twitter is adding Aliases to its Birdwatch safety program in a bid to shift focus to the notes instead of who wrote them.

The social media giant announced the plan on Tuesday. Birdwatch will now auto-generate a display name for participants when they join the security system. The aliases aren’t publicly associated with the contributor’s Twitter account. That means they can write and rate notes without worrying about anyone connecting it back to them.

Someone looking at the Twitter Alias options on a laptop computer.

Pixabay / Mockup Photos

Twitter says that the new setup should help reduce bias by letting you focus on the content of the notes rather than the person writing them. This should help remove any bias surrounding specific authors. It also hopes to reduce polarization by helping people feel comfortable crossing partisan lines or criticizing their own side without worrying about retribution for what they say. 

Aliases won’t come at the cost of accountability, though, Twitter says. Birdwatch accounts still have profile pages that make it easy to see how you’ve contributed in the past. Additionally, anyone who participates in the system will be held accountable by the ratings on their notes. Twitter claims this should give weight to the contributors whose notes and raters are often found helpful by other Birdwatch members.

Birdwatch user profile with alias active

Twitter

Any contributions made before the launch of aliases will be moved over to your alias and can easily be found on your profile page. 

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