According to Reset.Tech Australia, “there now appears to be no channel to report electoral misinformation when discovered on your platform.”
BNR – Researchers have discovered that Elon Musk’s X social media platform disabled a feature used to report misinformation about elections.
This move has sparked concerns, particularly in light of Australia’s upcoming referendum and the impending 2024 US presidential elections.
The feature was initially introduced in 2021 and was available in the US, Australia, South Korea, and other countries.
However, Reset.Tech Australia noted that this crucial tool for combatting electoral misinformation has vanished from X. It is worth noting that the feature was not cancelled in the European Union.
Concerns Arise in Australia
This alteration is especially disconcerting for Australia, which is gearing up for its first referendum in nearly a quarter-century.
The feature’s removal raises questions about the public’s ability to report election-related misinformation, a growing concern for Australian authorities.
Furthermore, with the 2024 US presidential elections on the horizon, the absence of this feature on X may hinder voters’ capacity to report and address misinformation.
Reset.Tech Australia expressed its apprehension regarding this development. “There now appears to be no channel to report electoral misinformation when discovered on your platform,” they said.
Although users can still report content they find hateful and abusive, the elimination of the misinformation reporting leaves a gap.
Electoral Misinformation Reporting Active in EU
In contrast, this feature remains active within the European Union, where a recent study has highlighted X’s high contribution to disinformation compared to other major social networks.
The study, conducted by the European Commission, analysed over 6,000 unique social media posts across various platforms. Indeed, it concluded that X had the highest “ratio of discoverability” of disinformation.
The European Union has implemented the EU Digital Services Act (DSA). The law compels tech giants to adhere to regulations aimed at safeguarding users and preventing election interference.
Vera Jourova, the EU’s Values and Transparency Commissioner, warned X, emphasising the necessity of compliance with these regulations.
Since Elon Musk’s takeover of X, the platform has faced allegations of permitting a surge in hate speech and misinformation.
However, Musk countered these claims, asserting that the “Community Notes” feature serves as a more effective method of fact-checking.