Is Group Notes the singular resolution to efficient content material moderation on social apps? No.
Is it a helpful complement that may help in addressing varied types of misinformation and misrepresentation, whereas additionally enabling customers to raised spotlight issues in posts? Positively.
The problem lies someplace in between, as Elon appears to be like to push Notes as X’s main safety net to address all types of concerns, whereas analysts proceed to highlight flaws in the Community Notes system, which is resulting in extra deceptive content material being amplified within the app.
Although this may assist.
At the moment, X has announced that it’ll now distribute extra notifications to customers who’ve engaged with a publish that’s later had a Group Observe appended.
As per X:
“Typically a be aware seems on a publish after you’ve seen it. To assist, Group Notes sends notifications to individuals who have engaged with a publish that later receives a be aware. We’ve now scaled it as much as deal with even probably the most seen and highly-engaged posts, so extra of you’ll be (and are already) seeing these.”
This can be a good addition, which can assist to in any case elevate questions amongst X customers in regards to the content material that they’ve seen, replied to, Favored, and so forth.
If a publish, for instance, gave them the impression that one thing had occurred, when it truly hadn’t, these sorts of follow-ups may very well be very efficient in slowing the unfold of false stories, which might additionally embrace deepfakes, AI-generated photographs, and so forth.
There’s a lot to love about Group Notes on this respect. However once more, the issue just isn’t a lot that the Notes are overly unreliable, nor that they don’t serve a goal. It’s greater than X is placing an excessive amount of religion within the course of being the savior for its misinformation points, by letting customers resolve what’s true and what’s not, with out X administration stepping in, or at the least, not stepping in on the similar degree that Twitter’s previous well being and security workforce had been.
However a whole lot of this comes all the way down to notion. As per its “Twitter Files” internal exploration shortly after the corporate modified palms, Elon and Co. outlined what they perceived to be huge corruption in data movement, because the previous Twitter workforce sought to suppress sure data on the behest of presidency officers.
However that’s probably not what the paperwork confirmed. What the insights did present is that Twitter’s well being and security workforce labored with varied official authorities to make sure that it remained conscious of associated issues. A few of these it actioned, most it didn’t, however the stories demonstrated what most would view as a accountable method to managing key discussions, and the amplification of such, via official partnerships that would have some bearing on future technique.
The issue is, this additionally concerned a problem that Elon himself believes was a conspiracy principle, within the COVID pandemic.
In coping with COVID, the Twitter workforce made selections primarily based on the most effective data it had on the time, and on reflection, a few of these calls could not have been appropriate. However that’s on reflection, and within the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, the workforce had been doing what they may. However that’s all of the proof that Elon and his workforce wanted to flag this as mass censorship, marking Twitter as a car for “accepted narratives”, which he’s now decided that X won’t ever be.
Which is why he needs Group Notes to work, in order that some data deemed unfaithful, false, deceptive, a few of that may nonetheless get via. As a result of you possibly can’t belief the mainstream dialogue, however you possibly can belief the individuals, in Musk’s view.
The issue with that’s Group Notes doesn’t actually work in highlighting a whole lot of misinformation as a result of it’s primarily based on political consensus, that means that folks from each side of the political spectrum have to agree on notes earlier than they’re displayed.
On a spread of extremely divisive points, that settlement won’t ever come. Like COVID, the warfare in Israel, the warfare in Ukraine, border safety, and so forth. A few of these are hardline matters, that nobody’s going to concede. So related Notes are by no means proven, and by no means seen, resulting in broad circulation of deceptive claims, primarily based on X’s personal system.
Is that a greater final result than having X’s personal workforce step in? It’s not possible to say, however I do really feel that, in some unspecified time in the future, that is going to result in vital points in consequence.
So whereas there are good factors to the method, and there’s a particular worth in Group Notes, and notifications like these new retrospective prompts, the method just isn’t what Elon and Co. assume. Which may very well be problematic.
Conceptually, there’s a logic there, and different approaches, like Reddit’s up and downvotes system, have offered comparable outcomes.
However Group Notes is unlikely to be the defend that Musk appears to consider, or wish to consider, as he reforms the app.