X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has removed the option for users to report posts (tweet) based on misinformation.
The change was first spotted by the Australian digital research group Reset.Australia in an open letter. The group notes that while you can still report a post based on reasons such as hate speech, abuse and harassment, child safety and privacy, the “it’s misleading” option is no longer available. Reset.Australia noticed the change with regard to political content, specifically, but it’s been reported that this option has been removed for all posts around the world.
For what it’s worth, I’m in the U.S. right now and don’t see the option, nor does the MobileSyrup team back home in Canada. It’s unclear why this change has been made, and since the Elon Musk-owned X now only replies to press inquiries with a canned response, we’re unlikely to find out more.
However, it’s the latest example of misinformation being spread during Musk’s ownership of the service. To be sure, Twitter has always struggled with fake news, but Musk has only fuelled that by allowing hate-filled white supremacists back onto the platform and sharing misleading content regarding the likes of U.S. politicians and LeBron James’ son to his own high-profile account.
Further, European Commission vice president Vera Jourova even said this week that “Disinformation actors [on X] were found to have significantly more followers … and tend to have joined the platform more recently than non-disinformation users.”
At the time of writing, X’s own Help Center page regarding “how we address information” notes that “some of you can report posts containing misinformation.” However, this is only available “in limited testing to some people in Australia, Brazil, the Philippines, South Korea, Spain, and the U.S.” X adds “we are exploring how to expand.” It’s unclear who, exactly, is able to report posts.