The capacity for citizens in Australia and worldwide to report election falsehoods published on the microblogging service X/Twitter has vanished just days before a historic referendum. In an open letter, the nonprofit Reset Australia identified and protested this. Reset Australia is an organization that advocates for tighter regulation of huge technology businesses in Australia. According to Reuters, alleged disinformation in the “Politics” category can no longer be reported anywhere except in the European Union since last week. Previously, the feature was only available for testing in a few select countries, including Australia, the United States, and Brazil, exclusively Spain was shown in Europe.
Corona denialists have made numerous bogus assertions.
Reset Australia notes in the open letter that the feature may have vanished simply because the test has concluded. However, given the developments at the microblogging service under the leadership of US billionaire Elon Musk, it is also possible that a broader rollout of the feature is no longer sought, or that no one working there is interested in the underlying technology.
However, the claim that the function is still available in Europe contradicts the latter. The EU had already had disagreements about how to deal with disinformation.
The loss comes at a bad time for Australia. On October 14, eligible voters will vote on a constitutional proposal that would grant indigenous peoples greater participation rights. It is the first nationwide referendum in nearly two decades.
According to Reuters, Australia’s electoral watchdog has never witnessed as much false allegation and disinformation around an election as this time. Reset Australia accused X/Twitter earlier last month for failing to remove a single post containing misinformation over a three-week period, even when reported via the now-defunct path. False accusations regarding the vote, according to a report released at the time, stem mostly from Australia’s strident opponents of anti-corona legislation. Elon Musk has also mentioned the so-called “Community Notes” of X/Twitter, which allow people to comment on erroneous or misleading short messages. However, these only appear below if they have received a particular number of helpful ratings.