X appears to be taking a head in the sand approach to misinformation, disabling the mechanism for users to report it.
X has faced ongoing allegations that there has been a significant rise in misinformation and hate speech since Elon Musk took over and gutted the content moderation and safety teams. Musk has continually denied the claims, but he appears to be taking a different tack:
If no one can report it, it must not be happening.
Research firm Reset.Tech Australia was the first to notice the change and has sent a letter to Angus Keene, X Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand:
We write to report our urgent concerns about the ability for users to report electoral misinformation on your platform. There now appears to be no channel to report electoral misinformation when discovered on your platform. We do not believe the loss of this feature is limited to Reset.Tech, rather, we believe all Australians are affected. We know of five separate individuals across Australia who have looked and are unable to report electoral misinformation. We believe this change occurred in the last week or two.
It is extremely concerning that Australians would lose the ability to report serious misinformation weeks away from a major referendum.
A recent change to your reporting process appears to have left Australian users unable to report electoral misinformation. This is because the categories for reporting in Australia offer no option to report electoral misinformation. Users are offered inappropriate categories such as hate speech, abuse, spam, imitation etc. Previously Australian users could select ‘It’s misleading’ about ‘Politics’ category. This may leave violative content subject to an inappropriate review process and not labelled or removed in compliance with your policies.
It remains to be seen if Reset.Tech Australia’s concerns will make any more headway than anyone else’s.