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Thursday, June 13, 2024  
06 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

FactCheck: Did X mark Solangi’s tweet as a lie?

PTI supporters have claimed that social media platform X, formerly Twitter, marked a tweet by Caretaker Information...
Artwork Aaj News
Artwork Aaj News

PTI supporters have claimed that social media platform X, formerly Twitter, marked a tweet by Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi as false by adding context to it.

Solangi tweeted on Friday about the caretaker government’s decision to approach British publication The Economist over publishing an opinion piece purportedly written by Imran Khan from his jail cell.

In his tweet, Solangi claimed that it was a “ghost” article written by someone else and the caretaker government wanted to know if The Economist had ever published such a piece by “jailed politicians ever from any other part of the world.”

A screenshot showing what looks like a “Readers added context…” box underneath Solangi’s tweet has been shared on social media platforms by PTI supporters.

There were claims that the context box was added by X.

“X labeled him as a liar now he can’t even delete his tweet,” said Junaidkhan (@Junaidkhan31090), one of the social media users who posted the screenshot.

The community note shown in this screenshot no longer appears next to Solangi’s tweet
The community note shown in this screenshot no longer appears next to Solangi’s tweet

Did X add context to Solangi’s tweet?

After Elon Musk acquired Twitter, the platform added a context box feature which allows users to add context to false and misleading claims.

Originally Birdwatch, the feature is currently known as Community Notes. To cut the long story short, the feature was first available in the United States but on December 11, 2022, it was rolled out globally.

It allows you to add context to tweets that you believe are misleading. If several other Twitter or X users upvote your context or community note, it becomes publicly visible. Similarly, if they downvote your community note it disappears.

So, context to Solangi’s tweet was added by some of the users, not Twitter or X.

But adding context or community notes to a tweet is not as simple as reacting to a tweet with a like, reply or retweet.

How you add context to tweets

Not every X user can add context or community notes by default. You first need to apply for Community Notes membership and meet the criterion, which includes compliance with X rules.

If your request is approved you will be allowed to rate the community notes written by others.

After you earn credibility, you will be allowed to write community notes yourself.

The following information by X can make it more clear.

  • Contributors are people like you. Anyone on X whose account meets the eligibility criteria can sign up to help.

  • All contributors start with the ability to rate notes, and over time, can earn the ability to write.

  • Notes aren’t chosen by majority rule. Community Notes identifies notes that are found helpful by and for people with different points of view.

  • X doesn’t choose what shows up: the people do.

The third point above explains the algorithm behind the Community Notes or Readers Context box. You cannot leverage this feature by enlisting the help of social media warriors. On the contrary, it may be counterproductive.

Why can’t I see community note next to Solangi’s tweet

Information Minister Solangi’s tweet no longer displays the community note seen in the screenshots in circulation.

Again, some users blamed X for removing the note but that’s not true.

Removal of an X community note is triggered by the same algorithm that decides when to make a community note public.

The process has been explained in a Slate article here

It explains how a note could disappear “from even Community Noters’ view” if it is rate note helpful by users with the different view point.

Read the following except of the Slate article.

Participants are granted the option to “Rate proposed Community Notes.” With a click, they can see what other users have suggested, whether it’s offering more information on a particular tweet or explaining why they think added context isn’t needed. (An acronym often deployed in these discussions is “NNN,” which stands for “No Note Needed.”) Should any of these suggestions be rated approvingly by enough members of the Community Notes community of varying political leanings, that Note will at last be affixed to the tweet for all tweeters to see. If they don’t get those votes, the Notes will be stuck in this “Help Rate” limbo—or, worse, be deemed “Not Helpful” and obscured from even Community Noters’ view. Notes can be sober and considered, shitpost-y and troll-y, false or bigoted—an aptly chaotic microcosm of the new Twitter world.

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