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Twitter launches Birdwatch, an initiative to combat ‘misleading information’

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Twitter on Monday launched a new “community-driven” initiative to combat “misleading information” called Birdwatch, and the website is asking for volunteers.

“We’re looking for people to test this out in the US –– you can add notes with helpful context to Tweets that you think are misleading,” Twitter explained. “For now, these notes won’t appear directly on Twitter, but anyone in the US can view them at” a webpage for the initiative.

“We’ll use the notes and your feedback to help shape this program and learn how to reach our goal of letting the Twitter community decide when and what context is added to a Tweet,” the company added.

This move from Twitter comes as large technology companies are censoring conservatives because of their political beliefs and after then-President Donald Trump was banned from the platform following the January 6 deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol by his most extreme supporters to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden‘s 2020 election victory.

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With their announcement of Birdwatch, the company posted a one-minute video breaking down the concept.

The video depicts one fictional user posting the obviously false claim that “Whales are not real! They’re funded by the government to watch us!!!” and a growing amount of other users repeating and debating this claim which has gone viral in the video.

The cavalcade of tweets aggregating the claim then reaches its climax when one user comments, “Can anyone who actually knows what they’re talking about chime in?”

Then a message flashes across the screen, saying: “Spoiler alert: You can’t trust everything you see online.”

“That’s why we’re introducing Birdwatch,” it continues.

The video then shows how a user can “contribute” a tweet to Birdwatch, using the one about whales as an example.

When someone clicks “Contribute to Birdwatch,” Twitter provides a checklist of criteria asking “Why do you believe this Tweet is misleading?” and to click all option that apply. The options include: “It contains a factual error,” “It contains a digitally altered photo or video,” “It contains outdated information that may be misleading,” “It is a misrepresentation or missing important context,” “It is a joke or satire that might be misinterpreted as a fact,” and “Other.”

After selecting the options that apply, Twitter asks the user: “If many believed this Tweet, it might cause” either “little harm” or “considerable harm.”

The site then asks the user to “explain the evidence” for the reasons they stated the tweet needs context.

After this, Twitter generates a “note” providing context for the offending tweet and asks the user if the note is helpful and whether they agree with the note’s conclusion.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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DOJ charges eleven pro-life protesters ‘aided and abetted by one another’

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Eleven pro-life protesters were charged with violating federal law by the Department of Justice Wednesday for blocking abortion clinics. The individuals, “aided and abetted by one another, used force and physical obstruction to injure, intimidate, and interfere with employees of the clinic and a patient who was seeking reproductive health services” said the DOJ.

According to a summary of the indictment, seven of the demonstrators were charged with conspiracy against rights secured by the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which prohibits obstructing the entrance to an abortion facility. The remaining four were charged with violating the legislation.

Pro-life activist AJ Hurley told Live Action News  the FBI raided the home of Chester Gallagher, the organizer of the protest and one of the accused conspirators, on Tuesday with guns drawn. He said Gallagher’s neighbors told him Gallagher was out of state when the FBI showed up and entered his home.

National Review reports that Hurley also told Live Action News that the FBI reportedly recently called a few of the charged individuals to tell them they had arrest warrants and that they must turn themselves in. If convicted, those charged with conspiracy could face up to eleven years in prison and fines up to $250,000, the DOJ confirmed.

National Review writes:

Gallagher allegedly advertised a series of pro-life events on social media for March 2021 in the Nashville area. The indictment claims he and other coordinators recruited participants to travel to the city and erect a blockade, which Gallagher allegedly called a “rescue,” at Carafem Health Center Clinic in Mount Juliet, Tenn., to prevent pregnant women from pursuing abortions.

A livestream of the stand-in shows activists chanting and singing prayer up the stairs to and along the hallway outside the abortion clinic, located in an office complex. Police officers eventually appeared in the video urging them to take their protest outside to the sidewalk.

“This is not allowed guys. Asking you to leave the property or I will call the police,” a security guard can be heard saying. The indictment alleges that the group prevented a patient and an employee from entering the facility. After they refused to leave the premises, the activists were reportedly escorted away to jail by police on misdemeanor trespassing charges. One pro-life activist wroteon March 6, 2021, on Facebook the claim that one “rescuer” was held on $1,000 bail, six, including Gallagher, on $1,500 bail, and two on $2,500 bail.

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