Following a series of efforts to combat misinformation, Elon Musk has taken another stride in his fight for accuracy. Posts on X, which are rectified through the platform’s crowd-sourced fact-checking system, Community Notes, will now be devoid of their revenue share. Musk’s decision primarily aims to encourage factual accuracy over the allure of sensationalism, leading to a more trustworthy environment on the platform.
Background on Community Notes
Introduced in 2021 by Twitter‘s co-founder, Jack Dorsey, Community Notes serves as a tool to counter misleading content. This feature empowers the platform’s users to append notes to posts they find misleading. The process requires users to propose a concise context note to any post, highlighting essential omissions or rectifying errors. Subsequently, other platform users evaluate these notes, with the most agreed-upon ones rising to prominence.
However, the landscape changed dramatically when Musk acquired Twitter and renamed it X. Amid these transformations, X began rewarding creators for the first time through a revenue-sharing initiative. This scheme compensated creators based on the advertisements appearing in their reply threads.
A Platform under Scrutiny
The social media giant hasn’t been without its share of controversies. Since Musk’s $44bn acquisition and the consequent workforce reduction by almost two-thirds, X has faced increasing criticism for its handling of misinformation. The platform’s approach became particularly contentious during the Israel-Gaza conflict. In addition, the European Union expressed concerns about X’s delayed action on problematic content during the conflict, even when alerted by relevant entities.
Thierry Breton, EU commissioner, pointed out that X hosted deceptive content, like misleading images from unrelated events or visuals sourced from video games. While the EU has initiated an investigation, X responded by claiming the removal of numerous accounts linked to Hamas.
Addressing the Larger Picture
By making posts ineligible for revenue share, X hopes to discourage creators from proliferating misleading information, especially those incentivized by the reaction economy. This decision, coupled with recent updates, signifies X’s commitment to battling misinformation, even as global crises, like the Israel-Hamas and Russia-Ukraine wars, continue to unfold.
Though the precise impact of this decision remains to be seen, it marks a pivotal moment in X’s journey. The challenge ahead is not just about filtering misinformation but also about fostering a digital environment where truth is both the medium and the message.