Social Media Platform X Removes Election Misinformation Reporting Feature in Australia
An Australian organization called Reset.Tech Australia has reported that the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) no longer provides a feature for reporting election misinformation in the country. The organization expressed concern over the removal of this channel just weeks before a significant referendum.
Reset.Tech Australia stated that the absence of an election misinformation reporting feature on X is troubling, especially considering the forthcoming referendum on October 14th in Australia. This referendum aims to modify the country’s constitution to establish a representative body for the First Peoples of Australia, and it is the first referendum since 1999.
The feature for reporting misinformation was initially launched in the United States, South Korea, and Australia in 2021. It was subsequently expanded to Brazil, the Philippines, and Spain. However, the recent removal of this reporting feature in Australia potentially violates the country’s misinformation code.
While there is still an option to report a potentially misleading post about voting in the European Union, the absence of the election misinformation reporting feature raises concerns about the prevalence of disinformation on X. European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova recently highlighted X as a platform with a high volume of mis/disinformation posts.
Elon Musk, the billionaire who acquired X last year, previously withdrew from the European Union’s voluntary code on disinformation practices. This withdrawal, coupled with reports of hate speech and misinformation on the platform, has raised increasing concerns.
Despite the removal of the reporting feature, the Australian Electoral Commission mentioned that it can still report posts containing misinformation directly to X. However, documents obtained by The Guardian Australia revealed that the commission faced difficulties in getting X to remove posts that incited violence or spread disinformation.
In light of these developments, concerns continue to grow regarding the management of misinformation and hate speech on X. The platform’s response to these concerns and the impact on democratic processes will be closely monitored.
Sources: Reset.Tech Australia, Reuters, The Guardian Australia