X supports posting community notes in India before elections | Tech Crunch

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Weeks ahead of national elections in India, Elon Musk-owned X said it would support the posting of Community Notes — the company's crowdsourced fact-checking program — in a 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. Contributors typically provide more context to popular posts to dispel any myth or provide broader insights. These submissions are rated by users based on factors such as helpfulness or accuracy.

In December 2022, the social network gave people the ability to see community notes on posts worldwide, but only users from certain countries could post such notes.

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

Last year, the company also introduced Community Notes, formerly known as Birdwatch, for images and videos.

India was one of the last major markets where Community Notes had not previously expanded. With national elections just weeks away, many platforms are making efforts to combat potential election-related disinformation. However, X has not made any concrete statement about its efforts for the Indian elections.

While Community Notes proved helpful in fact-checking posts on X, it sometimes struggled to control the spread of misinformation even as contributors added context to stories. The program may also face a tough test in India's complex multilingual political landscape.

Last year, the company allowed back political ads on the platform, which had been banned by previous management.

Twitter/X has had a particularly rough stay in the Indian market as it fought a legal battle against the government for ordering the platform to block certain posts. Earlier this year, X suspended some accounts and posts related to farmers' protests in India due to orders from authorities. At the time, the company reiterated that a writ appeal challenging the restraining order was still pending in the courts.

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

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