X will no longer pay creators for tweets promoting misinformation. Elon Musk said the company is making a “slight change” to its monetization program and that tweets that are fact-checked via community notes will no longer be eligible for payouts as part of X’s revenue-sharing program.
The update appears to be an attempt to remove incentives for high-profile accounts to spread viral misinformation. “The idea is to maximize the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism,” Musk said. X also recently started to require community notes contributors to in fact checks.
The latest change comes as researchers, fact checkers and journalists have raised the alarm about the amount of viral misinformation spreading on X amid the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. European Union officials have opened into the company’s handling of misinformation related to the war.
Following Musk’s takeover of Twitter a year ago, the company laid off teams responsible for curating and promoting reputable tweets about breaking news events and removed tools for reporting misinformation in the app. Instead, the company has relied on its crowd-sourced fact checking tool, community notes.
But critics have said that community notes are subject to and that the user-contributed fact checks are often unable to keep up with the sheer amount of viral falsehoods, particularly those promoted by verified accounts. A from NewsGuard, a nonprofit that tracks the spread of misinformation, found that 74 percent of “the most viral posts on X advancing misinformation about the Israel-Hamas War are being pushed by ‘verified’ X accounts.”
As BBC researcher Shayan Sardarizadeh , the change to make tweets with community notes ineligible for payments has already been criticized by a number of high-profile accounts whose tweets are often “community noted.” Musk added that “any attempts to weaponize @CommunityNotes to demonetize people will be immediately obvious,” but didn’t say how the company would deal with attempts at manipulation. X didn’t respond to a request for comment.