The social network site X, previously known as Twitter, announced a new feature that expands an older one. Community Notes for videos takes the existing crowdsource tool already available for text posts and images and applies it to posted videos on the site.
And just like Notes on images, Community Notes for videos applies notes set for one video to matching videos as well, which gives important context to any edited clips, AI-generated videos, and more. That last one is important, as AI is the reason why Community Notes for images was added due to the spread of false images like a fake attack on the US Pentagon or fake reports of celebrities dying.
This brings me to my next point: is it possible that, amidst all of X owner Elon Musk’s terrible decisions, he’s actually come up with an intelligent idea? Especially as this announcement comes on the heels of some truly hideous news — a new privacy change that will allow AI models to train on public data.
Community Notes is currently one of the few features on X that still works just as intended. The feature allows Top Writers, who are trusted community members, to create an addition to a tweet that extrapolates on the statement made in said tweet. It brings in much-needed fact-checking and context clues to a site that continues to plummet into a hate speech-filled cesspool thanks to the rise of neo-conservatism and outright fascism.
And the best part is that no one on the site is immune to Community Notes, not even the owner himself. Several times, Musk has been hilariously fact-checked by the system.
Even Elon Musk can get @CommunityNotes pic.twitter.com/koeL7wuV6WAugust 19, 2023
Fight Recap:I joked on X about fighting ZuckZuck then said “SEND ME LOCATION” Italy graciously offered a ColosseumZuck declinedI suggested his home as “safe space”Tragically, he was ahem “traveling”Is there anywhere he will fight? https://t.co/gpcRLW49fvAugust 15, 2023
Self-owns aside, expanding that concept to images and now videos is an even better idea, considering how effective fakes can spread like wildfire thanks to how convincing said fakes can be.
In other words, this is a feature expansion that actually benefits its users and keeps them better informed through the power of Top Writers on X. It’s a helpful tool – one of X’s best – and continuing to invest in it is genuinely one of Musk’s only good ideas since he acquired the social media site in 2022.
That said, Community Notes isn’t a perfect feature by any stretch of the imagination. One only needs to look at the recent fact-checking fiasco reported on by Gizmodo, in which a user refuted a claim that Agdal, Logan Paul's fiancée, had starred in porn by posting a link to porn in the Community Notes. And it doesn’t have to be such an egregious example either. A Top Writer could easily slip misinformation into the Notes, whether intentionally or not, that could end up spreading to overly trusting users.
Normally, this would be the time to carefully test out such tools to ensure that there are measures put into place to prevent such misinformation and to minimize the damage caused by it. But this is Musk’s X now and we, unfortunately, have to be grateful that he didn’t axe Community Notes in the first place.