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Elon Musk Tweaks X's Creator Monetisation Rules in Wake of Israel-Hamas War

The new move is aimed at the earnings of X users peddling fake news amid the war in Gaza.

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Elon Musk has announced an important measure to disincentivise content creators from spreading fake news on X (formerly Twitter).

The what: Any posts that are corrected by adding Community Notes become ineligible for monetisation, Musk said on Sunday, 29 October.

  • "The idea is to maximize the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism," the billionaire owner added.

Yes, but: Musk also warned users against "attempts to weaponize @CommunityNotes to demonetize people."

Dragnet: Forbes reported that some users pushed for stronger restrictions (such as reducing visibility of posts spreading misinformation). However, others pointed out that the Community Notes feature isn't always used to point out errors in the original post. Hence, it could unfairly stop creators from making money off their content.

Why it matters: The change to X's creator monetisation guidelines comes at a time when the platform has been widely criticised for its handling of misinformation around the Israel-Hamas war.

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  1. What Are Community Notes?

    In 2021, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey rolled out the Community Notes feature as a way to address misinformation on the platform. The crowd-sourced, fact-checking tool allows eligible contributors to submit a Note that adds context to the post. The Note becomes visible when enough contributors mark it as 'helpful'. Earlier known as Birdwatch, Community Notes was recently expanded to tag videos as well.

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Some context: Since Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a 'surprise attack' against Israel on 7 October, major tech platforms like X have come under scrutiny for their alleged inaction to curb the spread of misinformation.

  • Many users had pointed out that X Premium subscribers (whose tweets are amplified as part of the package) have helped fuel fake news on the platform.

  • Politico had also reported that the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry was pushing paid ads on X (and YouTube) in an effort to shape public opinion around the war.

Of note: It is worth mentioning that X is formally being investigated by the European Union for not complying with the Digital Services Act (DSA) by allegedly allowing the spread of "illegal content and disinformation, in particular the spreading of terrorist and violent content and hate speech.”

  • Under the EU's DSA, X could face massive penalties amounting to six percent of the company's global annual turnover.

  • Such a fine could particularly hurt X which has seen a decline in advertising revenue since the Musk takeover, according to The Guardian.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International recently called on all social media platforms to "stem the flow of online hate and racism against Palestinian and Jewish communities" as the conflict continues to escalate.

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