X rolls out support for posting Community Notes in India ahead of elections

Weeks before the national elections in India, Elon Musk-owned X said it is rolling out support for posting Community Notes — the company’s crowd-sourced fact-checking program.

The company posted that the first set of contributors from India will start posting notes today and more will be accepted over time. Contributors typically post more context to posts to debunk a myth or add more information for better context. These submissions are then scored based on their helpfulness and accuracy and shown to users.

Musk renamed the old Birdwatch project to Community Notes when he took over the company in 2022. In December 2022, the social network rolled out the ability for people to look at Community Notes related to posts globally, but users from only a few countries could post these notes.

Over time, the company has allowed members from different countries to start posting Community Notes to provide local context better. With the latest rollout, the program has contributors in 69 countries.

Last year, the company also introduced Community Notes for images and videos.

India was a major missing market for this feature given the size of the market. With national elections just a few weeks away, platforms are making efforts to reduce election-related misinformation. However, X hasn’t made any specific announcement about its efforts for Indian elections.

At times, Community Notes have not controlled the spread of misinformation despite contributors adding context to the post. The program will face a tough test in India’s complex multilingual political landscape.

Last year, the company reallowed political ads on the platform, which were banned by the previous management.

Twitter/X has had a tough stay in the Indian market notably for its legal battle against the government for ordering the platform to block certain posts. Earlier this year, X withheld some accounts and posts related to farmers’ protests in India because of orders from authorities. At that time, the company reiterated that a writ appeal challenging blocking orders was still pending in the courts.

Last year, Musk said in a conversation with BBC that India’s social media rules are quite strict and the company “can’t go beyond the laws of the country.”

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