Corrections to postings on X will no longer be paid for, according to Elon Musk, as the social network faces rising criticism for becoming a conduit for misinformation.
Musk has dismantled content filtering, restored accounts of previously banned radicals, and let users to purchase account verification, allowing them to profit from viral — but sometimes false — remarks in the year after taking over Twitter, now rebranded as X.
Musk has instead pushed Community Notes, a technique for combating misinformation in which X users patrol the network.
But on Sunday, Musk tweeted a modification in how Community Notes works.
“Making a slight change to creator monetization: Any posts that are corrected by @CommunityNotes become ineligible for revenue share,” he wrote.
“The idea is to maximize the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism,” he added.
X pays content creators whose work generates lots of views a share of advertising revenue.
Musk warned against using corrections to make X users ineligible for receiving payouts.
“Worth ‘noting’ that any attempts to weaponize @CommunityNotes to demonetize people will be immediately obvious, because all code and data is open source,” he posted.
Musk’s proposal comes on the heels of the Friday presentation of a $16-a-month membership plan in which customers who pay more get the highest boost for their replies. It launched a $8-per-month plan earlier this year to get a “verified” account.
According to a recent research by the disinformation monitoring company NewsGuard, verified, paying customers were the primary spreaders of misinformation concerning the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“Nearly three-fourths of the most viral posts on X advancing misinformation about the Israel-Hamas War are being pushed by ‘verified’ X accounts,” the group said.
It said the 250 most-engaged posts that promoted one of 10 prominent false or unsubstantiated narratives related to the war were viewed by more than 100 million times globally in just one week.
NewsGuard said 186 of those posts were made from verified accounts and only 79 had been fact-checked by Community Notes.
Verified accounts “turned out to be a boon for bad actors sharing misinformation”, said NewsGuard.
“For less than the cost of a movie ticket, they have gained the added credibility associated with the once-prestigious blue checkmark and enabling them to reach a larger audience on the platform,” it said.
While the organization stated that disinformation is extensively distributed on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Telegram, it also stated that false narratives about the Israel-Hamas conflict tend to go viral on X before spreading elsewhere.