Researchers claim that a provision which allowed people to report false information regarding elections has been blocked by Elon Musk’s X.
According to Reset.Tech Australia, the feature had recently been disabled everywhere but the European Union.
Concern has grown as a result of the action in the run-up to the 2024 US presidential elections and a crucial Australian referendum on increasing the rights of Indigenous Australians.
The dissemination of election misinformation, according to Australian officials, is at its worst level yet.
The technology was made available in other nations last year after being made available in the US, Australia, and South Korea since 2021.
Given that Australia will be holding a referendum next month, Reset.Tech Australia pointed to the action as “extremely concerning” in a letter.
“There now appears to be no channel to report electoral misinformation when discovered on your platform,” the group said.
Posts that users find to be offensive, hateful, or spam can still be reported by other users.
On October 14, Australia will hold its first referendum in almost 25 years.
In advance of the 2024 US presidential elections, the measure might make it more difficult for voters to report false information.
The function is still available in the EU, where a recent study indicates that X has the highest percentage of misinformation among the six major social networks, according to Reset.Tech Australia.
Over 6,000 distinct social media posts from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, X, and YouTube were evaluated for the European Commission study.
According to the study, X had the highest “ratio of discoverability” of disinformation, or the likelihood that a user may run across disinformation. According to the analysis, YouTube had the lowest.
“You must abide by the strict legislation, is my message to [X]. Vera Jourova, the EU’s commissioner for values and transparency, issued a warning in the wake of the report, saying, “We’ll be watching what you’re doing.”
The EU Digital Services Act (DSA), which is intended to safeguard users and prevent electoral interference, must be complied with by IT companies in the EU.
The firm has been charged with permitting a spike in hate speech and false information since Mr Musk gained control of X, or Twitter, as the network was then known, in late 2022. This was however refuted by Mr Musk.
He has stated that the platform’s “Community Notes” function, which enables users to comment on postings in order to flag inaccurate or misleading content, provides as a better method of information verification.