Elon Musk's Twitter faced significant challenges during the Israel-Hamas conflict when the platform became inundated with fake posts. Musk, in a stunning move, recommended war coverage from accounts known for making false claims or expressing antisemitic sentiments.
Elon Musk boosting two regular fake news posters who have historically posted debunked videos— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) October 8, 2023
neither are on the ground or verify. both have shared AI-generated videos in the past as real.
they just share any garbage they come across to rack up views. pic.twitter.com/swQ2r1TgIU
A fake BBC video claiming a Bellingcat investigation shows Ukraine smuggled weapons to Hamas is being pushed by Russian social media users. It's unclear if this is a Russian government disinformation campaign or a grassroots effort, but it's 100% fakehttps://t.co/9bSZg24kgq pic.twitter.com/s4Tn0Ra8pa— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) October 10, 2023
In a recent, similar case, false reports of the renowned economist Amartya Sen's death circulated following a fake social media post from an unrelated account.
Several prominent news outlets reported his death, relying on a social media post that appeared to be from Claudia Goldin, an economic historian.
However, it was later revealed that the post originated from a fake account created in May 2023 and had no genuine connection to Goldin. Amartya Sen's daughter later clarified the situation.
Friends, thanks for your concern but it’s fake news: Baba is totally fine. We just spent a wonderful week together w/ family in Cambridge—his hug as strong as always last night when we said bye! He is teaching 2 courses a week at Harvard, working on his gender book—busy as ever! pic.twitter.com/Fd84KVj1AT— Nandana Sen (@nandanadevsen) October 10, 2023
Recently, X ceased displaying article headlines when links are shared. Now, users only see the image and website name. Musk made this change to achieve a cleaner look, but it has made it more challenging for news readers to comprehend the content.
Under Elon Musk's ownership since October 2022, X has instituted significant changes to its content safety rules. These changes have become glaringly evident during the current crisis. Over the past year, the company has relaxed its platform's rules, downsized its trust and safety staff despite prior promises to expand it, allowed previously banned accounts to return, and enabled users to purchase verification checkmarks.
While misinformation about the Israel-Palestine conflict is present on many social media platforms, X stands out because false posts have become increasingly difficult to avoid.