26 September 2023

Election organisers see social media behave

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The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is celebrating the success of its involvement with online media platforms in the lead up to the Federal Election earlier this year which saw ‘electoral integrity’ maintained during the election period.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said that in preparation for the election, the AEC engaged with online platforms to protect and promote electoral integrity online.

Mr Rogers said a written agreement reflecting the efforts was finalised between the AEC, Meta, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and TikTok.

“This agreement established a framework for detailed operational arrangements allowing the AEC and the Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce to refer harmful electoral content to online platforms for consideration and removal, where content was in breach of relevant legislation or the platform’s own policies,” Mr Rogers said.

“Despite the best efforts of a small number of actors, the AEC saw much lower levels of electoral mis- and dis-information this election than in other like-minded democratic elections across the globe,” he said.

“We know Australians will not tolerate this type of content circulating and trying to undermine public confidence in our elections.”

Mr Rogers said he was pleased that the success of the AEC’s relationships with online platforms had made a big difference to this.

“The low levels of misinformation and disinformation we’ve seen this year are a great result for the AEC’s Reputation Management Strategy,” the Commissioner said.

“It also reflects the hard work of the members of the Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce and the administrators of the online platforms used by Australians.”

He said the AEC also worked with online platforms on public engagement and education initiatives, including interactive election hubs, key election date reminders, and the promotion of informative AEC content such as the AEC website, AECTV YouTube channel and AEC Twitter.

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