Elon Musk has said that corrections to posts on X would no longer be eligible for payment as the social network comes under mounting criticism as becoming a conduit for misinformation.
In the year since taking over Twitter, now rebranded as X, Musk has gutted content moderation, restored accounts of previously banned extremists, and allowed users to purchase account verification, helping them profit from viral—but often inaccurate—posts.
Musk has instead promoted Community Notes, in which X users police the platform, as a tool to combat misinformation.
But on Sunday, Musk tweeted a modification in how Community Notes works.
“Making a slight change to creator monetization: Any posts that are corrected by @CommunityNotes become ineligible for revenue share,” he wrote.
“The idea is to maximize the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism,” he added.
X pays content creators whose work generates lots of views a share of advertising revenue.
Musk warned against using corrections to make X users ineligible for receiving payouts.
“Worth ‘noting’ that any attempts to weaponize @CommunityNotes to demonetize people will be immediately obvious, because all code and data is open source,” he posted.
Musk’s announcement follows the unveiling Friday of a $16-a-month subscription plan that users who pay more get the biggest boost for their replies. Earlier this year it unveiled an $8-a-month plan to get a “verified” account.
A recent study by the disinformation monitoring group NewsGuard found that verified, paying subscribers were the big spreaders of misinformation about the Israel-Hamas war.
“Nearly three-fourths of the most viral posts on X advancing misinformation about the Israel-Hamas War are being pushed by ‘verified’ X accounts,” the group said.
It said the 250 most-engaged posts that promoted one of 10 prominent false or unsubstantiated narratives related to the war were viewed by more than 100 million times globally in just one week.
NewsGuard said 186 of those posts were made from verified accounts and only 79 had been fact-checked by Community Notes.
Verified accounts “turned out to be a boon for bad actors sharing misinformation”, said NewsGuard.
“For less than the cost of a movie ticket, they have gained the added credibility associated with the once-prestigious blue checkmark and enabling them to reach a larger audience on the platform,” it said.
While the organization said it found misinformation spreading widely on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Telegram, it added that it found false narratives about the Israel-Hamas war tend to go viral on X before spreading elsewhere.