Elon Musk’s Twitter, now rebranded as X, has apparently removed its election misinformation reporting feature, raising concerns about its role in addressing false claims ahead of major elections in the U.S. and Australia.
The feature, introduced in 2022, allowed users to report posts they considered misleading about politics and was regarded as a vital tool in combating the proliferation of false information during election seasons.
On Wednesday, Reset.Tech Australia, a research organization, stated that in the past week, X removed the “politics” category from its reporting menu in all jurisdictions except the European Union, reported Reuters.
This move comes as Australia is on the brink of a significant referendum, its first in 25 years, and just over a year before a U.S. presidential election.
Alice Dawkins, the executive director of Reset.Tech Australia, expressed her concerns, saying, “It would be helpful to understand why X has seemingly gone backward on their commitments to mitigating the kind of serious misinformation that has translated into real political instability in the U.S., especially on the eve of the ‘bumper year’ of elections globally.”
It is worth noting that in June, Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) YouTube said it would stop removing content containing inaccurate or false information about past elections, including the highly scrutinized 2020 U.S. presidential election.
The reported removal comes at a time when social media platforms are under immense pressure to tackle misinformation and maintain the credibility of elections.
Musk has repeatedly said he bought Twitter to ensure people can express themselves openly and support trustworthy news. He introduced a feature called “Community Notes” to fight against fake news on the site, but it’s not perfect.
Additionally, it was reported that since Musk took over Twitter in October of last year, the platform has allowed governments, like those in Turkey and India, to remove more content — about 83% more.
The tech billionaire even got upset about this report and argued that Twitter didn’t have much of a choice when governments asked to remove content.
Produced in association with Benzinga