Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, disabled a feature that allowed users to report false information about elections, a research firm said on Wednesday, after major votes in the US and Australia. expressed fresh concern about the false claims circulating just before
After introducing a feature for users to report misleading posts about politics in 2022, X last week removed the “politics” category from its drop-down menu in every jurisdiction but the European Union, the researcher said. Reset.Tech Australia said. .
Users can still report posts to X globally for a number of other complaints, such as promoting violence or hate speech, the researcher added.
X was not immediately available for comment.
Removing a way for people to report suspected political misinformation could limit interference at a time when social media platforms are under pressure to curb lies about election integrity, which have grown exponentially in recent years. .
It comes less than three weeks after Australia held a referendum, the first in a quarter of a century, on whether to change the constitution to establish an indigenous consultative body in parliament and the US presidency. 14 months before the elections.
“It would be helpful to understand why X has seemingly gone back on his promises to curtail the kind of serious misinformation that has translated into real political instability in the US, especially in the ‘bumper’ of global elections. on the occasion of Sal’,” said. Alice Dawkins, Executive Director of Reset.Tech Australia
Angus Keene, X’s managing director for Australia, said in a letter to Reset.Tech Australia that the change violated X’s own policy of banning electoral misinformation without a proper review process. can leave
“It is deeply concerning that Australians will lose the ability to report serious misinformation weeks away from a major referendum,” the letter, published online, said.
Since billionaire Musk took Twitter, as it was then known, private in late 2022, the company, which laid off most of its workforce, has been plagued by antisemitism, hate speech and the spread of misinformation. Alleged to allow.
As previously reported by Reuters, Reset.Tech Australia found X failed. To remove or label a post containing false information about the Australian referendum within three weeks, including after reporting using the now-deactivated feature.
Musk has said that X’s “community notices” feature, which allows users to comment on posts to flag false or misleading content, is a better way of fact-checking. But according to X’s website, these notes are only made public when they are deemed helpful by a range of contributors with different perspectives.
Australia’s Internet Safety Regulator Wrote to X in Junedemanded an explanation for the explosion in hate speech on the platform, noting that it had reinstated nearly 62,000 high-profile accounts of individuals who espoused Nazi rhetoric.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), which will oversee the October 14 referendum, has said the spread of electoral disinformation is at its worst.
The commission said it is still able to report posts containing political misinformation directly to X even after the feature is disabled. For other users, the AEC was “available for people to ask questions or get information.”