We want everyone to feel comfortable contributing to Birdwatch. Aliases let contributors write and rate notes without sharing their Twitter usernames.
A Birdwatch alias is a new, auto-generated display name that participants get when they join Birdwatch. Aliases are not publicly associated with contributors’ Twitter accounts, so everyone can write and rate notes privately.
Further, we believe aliases have the potential to:
- Reduce bias. By keeping focus on the content of notes rather than who’s writing them, aliases have the potential to reduce bias that people might have around specific authors.
- Reduce polarization. Recent research indicates aliases might reduce polarization by helping people feel comfortable crossing partisan lines, or criticizing their own side without the prospect of peer pressure or retribution.
It’s important that the benefits of aliases don’t come at the expense of accountability. To that end: all Birdwatch accounts have profile pages that make it easy to see one’s past contributions. Additionally, Birdwatch contributors are accountable to ratings their contributions receive, giving weight to contributors whose notes and ratings are consistently found helpful by others.
Visit this link to choose your alias. You’ll have 5 random options to pick from, and at this time choices cannot be changed.
With aliases, every contributor gets a public profile. On this page, everyone can see the notes people have written in the past, as well as the current rating status of those notes. On your own profile, you can also see how many Helpful, Unhelpful, and Somewhat helpful ratings you have received. We’ll continue to add information and evolve the profile pages as we learn more about what’s important to contributors when using Birdwatch.
Aliases launched on November 22, 2021. For those of you who were in the pilot and contributed under your Twitter username before that, your previous contributions will all now appear to come from your alias, not your Twitter username. Your Birdwatch profile page will show all the notes you’ve written, all attributed to your new alias. That said, if someone who previously read one of your notes happened to recall the username that wrote it, they could possibly infer your alias. The only way to completely prevent this is by deleting all of your prior contributions and starting fresh. If you want to do that, we’re happy to help, just DM @birdwatch.
Don’t hesitate to send us feedback at any time.