X shifts disinformation-fighting efforts amidst growing concerns

X has reduced its disinformation team, casting doubt on its commitment to election integrity. Controversy brews as the platform scraps tweet reporting feature.

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X, formerly known as Twitter, has reduced the size of its team focused on combatting disinformation and safeguarding election integrity shortly after the company announced plans to hire more staff to defend against foreign interference.

The cuts in question, reported on the day of the US second Republican presidential primary debate, signal X’s broader withdrawal from its attempts to combat false information and foreign interference. The company has recently advertised job openings for its ‘threat disruption’ team and has emphasized its commitment to ensuring accurate and secure political discussions on the platform.

The controversy escalated with X’s announcement regarding discontinuing its feature, which once allowed users to report tweets containing misleading information. This decision has raised concerns, particularly in Australia, as citizens prepare for an essential referendum on Indigenous representation in parliament.

Why does it matter?

The inconsistency surrounding X is a cause for alarm, as it hints at a lack of a well-defined and cohesive strategy to combat the global issue of misinformation. In Australia, critics have voiced apprehension regarding the timing of these changes, suggesting that they could have substantial ramifications for the integrity of Australia’s elections. Meanwhile, in the US, critics have drawn attention to a recent report by the European Commission, which unveiled that X witnessed the most significant surge in disinformation and Russian propaganda among all tech platforms from January to May. These developments raise serious concerns about X’s potential to perpetuate a harmful online environment ahead of decisive electoral processes.