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October 12, 2023

X's New Approach to Handling Controversial Content: What You Need to Know

Shaking up its "Public interest expectations" policy, redefining what posts can remain visible despite platform's rules

In the past, only verified accounts with at least 100,000 followers had their posts classified as newsworthy and exempt from regular content guidelines. However, under the leadership of Elon Musk, who introduced a subscription-based verification process, X has broadened the scope. Now, posts by "high-profile accounts" fall under the newsworthy category, although the policy remains vague on what exactly qualifies as "high-profile."

Previously, the policy limited exceptions to elected and government officials. This restriction has been removed from the updated version, signaling a more inclusive approach.

X's policy overhaul coincides with unfolding events like the Israel-Hamas conflict. The company reports that users have generated 50 million posts on this topic. In response, X has been actively removing "newly created Hamas-affiliated accounts'' under its Violent and Hateful Entities Policy. It has also teamed up with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) to curb the spread of "terrorist content."

Moreover, X is proactively monitoring for antisemitic speech, although the nature of the actions taken remains undisclosed.

The platform has increasingly relied on Community Notes, its crowdsourced moderation tool, enabling users to provide context to posts. These notes now typically appear within minutes of content posting.

X has faced criticism for hosting misinformation related to ongoing events. Verified accounts have been spotted posting false information, such as claims about Joe Biden approving an $8 billion military grant for Israel. Additionally, reports highlighted that X's algorithm boosted posts containing misinformation, including video game clips falsely presented as real war footage. Elon Musk's recommendation to follow accounts with a history of posting antisemitic comments and false information further fueled concerns.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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