“Notes” Is Being Weaponized Ahead Of 2024

Twitter’s ‘Community Notes’ feature, initially aimed at enhancing contextual information on misleading tweets, is being exploited during the Republican presidential primary, with users using it to fact-check and add biased opinions under the pretext of providing ‘context.’

Community Notes aims to foster a more knowledgeable society by enabling Twitter users to provide additional information to potentially deceptive Tweets collectively. 

Users can contribute notes to any Tweet, and if a substantial number of contributors representing diverse perspectives deem the message helpful, it will be publicly displayed alongside the Tweet.

Elon Musk, the outgoing CEO of Twitter, introduced Community Notes, intending to promote a well-informed online community where users could collaboratively contribute contextual information.

However, it has quickly devolved into a tool for fact-checking posts disapproved by partisan readers, regardless of their accuracy.

An example of this misuse involves the “Trump War Room” account’s claim that in 2020 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis kept businesses closed during the Covid -19 lockdown until September.

Despite Reuters reporting that DeSantis lifted COVID restrictions on businesses, including bars and restaurants, in September 2020, Community Notes swiftly added context that implied the claim was false.

Another instance involves Chris Pavlovski, CEO of the video platform Rumble, who expressed his concerns about the Community Notes feature, stating that it could be easily exploited and cause more harm than good. 

Although Pavlovski was simply sharing his opinion, Community Notes interjected by adding context to his tweet. 

This practice prompted Vivek Ramaswamy, another Republican primary hopeful, to express his apprehension that tagging opinions with Community Notes was reminiscent of an eerie and Orwellian environment rather than a platform that upholds free speech.

The effectiveness of the Notes system relies on users, particularly those who are registered, to contribute ‘fact checks’ to tweets, which are then shared with friends to garner votes. 

Unfortunately, this process is being used to deflect criticism from their favored candidate, resembling the tactics employed by corporate media ‘fact checkers.’

So far, the DeSantis campaign appears to be extensively exploiting this system, mirroring the strategies of corporate media, to shield their candidate from online criticism.