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Twitter’s Community notes, good but manipulable

X Community Notes (X formerly known as Twitter) add context to potentially misleading Tweets. Contributors can leave notes on any Tweet. If enough contributors, from different points of view, rate a note as helpful for a tweet, the note will be publicly shown with the Tweet. But it is not so easy to have opinion on a community note from different points of view, without any manipulation on the audience,

Only approved contributor can write note on Tweets and give opinion on existing note, and I am a Community Notes contributor. Community note’s objective is Empowering users to create a better-informed world.

Diversity of perspectives

To find notes that are helpful to the broadest possible set of people, Community Notes takes into account not only how many contributors rated a note as helpful or unhelpful, but also whether people who rated it seem to come from different perspectives.

Community Notes assesses “different perspectives” entirely based on how people have rated notes in the past; Community Notes does not ask about or use any other information to do this (e.g. demographics like location, gender, or political affiliation, or data from X such as follows or posts). This is based on the intuition that Contributors who tend to rate the same notes similarly are likely to have more similar perspectives, while contributors who rate notes differently are likely to have different perspectives. If people who typically disagree in their ratings agree that a given note is helpful, it’s probably a good indicator the note is helpful to people from different points of view.

From Twitter’s Help Center

Community Notes run entirely on publicly available data. People working with Community Notes public data can replicate, analyze and audit how Community Notes works. Even the code that X runs in production to reproduces the note scoring/ranking is public.

So, apparently this system is almost perfect, no single man or company can manipulate the Community Notes?

Not really, it is Mr. Elon Musk that can suggest to the “right audience” of X’s contributors to evaluate a note.

How and why, there are manipulated Community Notes

I have already noticed this “attitude” on some Tweets. The best and most economically logic example is this: There is a paid advertisement Tweet on X, but the Tweet is a scam. Unfortunately, the note approved are only pointing to the fact that in that advertisement, the information is not accurate.

Instead, all the note documenting, with proof, and links, that advertisement is a scam, are not approved. Is this a natural error?

No, I don’t think so. Because X can propose to the “best” contributor the Tweets and the notes to be evaluated. They can use notifications or the home page.

Notification on X that a community note needs rating

Therefore, if a note is approved, but is not in the interest of X, then the “notification mechanism” on X can invert the result. On the opposite, if a note is approved or is near to be approved and is in the interest of X to have it approved, then the “notification mechanism” on X can invert the result. The X notification and the shadow banning are not tracked, so you see only the result of this hidden work.

Therefore, even if it is true that there is no way to remove or add directly a note on a Tweet, there are ways for Elon Musk to slowly manipulate the results to best serve his interest.

These manipulations are economically logic, X don’t want to damage the paying advertisers, even if they are scammers. Furthermore, the Community Notes approved for this scam advertisement Tweet are giving credit to the scammer since they hide the scam and point the attention to not accurate information.

The good side of the X Community Notes.

The Community Notes are a big improvement, there are a lot of public data and 90% of the time are very useful. In fact, the interest of Mr. Elon Musk are not hurting so much notes’ quality. Furthermore, sometime Elon’s interest and mine are the same.


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Thanks a lot
Enrico Filippucci
Enrico Filippucci. in

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