26 September 2023

Voters advised to ‘Stop and Consider’

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The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has launched an advertising campaign to help voters ‘Stop and Consider’ the messages they receive during the current Federal election.

Announcing the initiative, Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said the campaign was built on the success of a similar campaign run at the 2019 Federal Election and aimed at helping voters cut through misinformation, disinformation and spin.

“A lot of information is designed to make you feel an emotional reaction like shock, excitement or anger,” Mr Rogers said.

“It’s normal to react to things we come across but before acting on it every one of us should take the time to Stop, check and appropriately consider it.”

He said that since Federation Australian voters have had to assess information attempting to influence their vote.

“The channels are different but the voter’s job is the same,” Mr Rogers said, “to Stop and Consider!.”

He said the Commission encouraged voters to think about three things when they were faced with electoral communication:

* Reliable: Is the information from a reliable source?

* Current: When was it published?, and

* Safe: Could it be a scam?

“While it’s not the AEC’s role to regulate truth in political advertising, we do recognise that misinformation and disinformation are features of modern election campaigns,” Mr Rogers said.

“The Stop and Consider campaign gives voters the tools they need to navigate an increasingly complex electoral landscape.”

He said the campaign would be advertised primarily online via social media feeds and through digital displays and was supported by translated material distributed through Culturally and Linguistically Diverse audiences.

The Commissioner said the AEC’s YouTube channel had a number of short-form videos that help educate Australians about the electoral process and address electoral disinformation.

The AEC TV channel can be accessed at this PS News link.

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