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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 — in the key overseas market.

The first set of contributors from India will start posting notes from today and more will be accepted over time, X said. The contributors typically provide more context to popular posts to debunk any myth or offer broader insights. These submissions are then rated by users on factors such as the helpfulness they provide or the accuracy.

In December 2022, the social network enabled the ability for people to look at Community Notes related to posts globally, but users from only a few countries could post such 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, previously called Birdwatch, for images and videos.

India was one of the last major markets where Community Notes had not previously expanded. With national elections just a few weeks away, many platforms are making efforts to combat potential election-related misinformation. However, X hasn’t made any specific announcement about its efforts for Indian elections.

Though Community Notes is proving helpful in fact-checking posts on X, it has at times struggled to control the spread of misinformation despite contributors adding context to stories. The program may also 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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