- The AEC says social media companies are reluctant to take down misinformation.
- Remote voting in the Voice to Parliament referendum starts next week.
- A judge has dismissed a legal challenge over the ticks and crosses controversy.
But with a surge in postal voting applications, AEC commissioner Tom Rogers warned Australians won’t know the result for days if the 14 October vote is extremely close.
“There are things that we’re seeing in social media more broadly that then wash into this event.”
‘Mad conspiracies’, threats to electoral officers increase
“And without wishing to blow this up into a big event, or take on the internet, some of the stuff we’ve seen is, frankly, tinfoil-hat-wearing bonkers.”
The AEC has referred 54 pieces of content to social media companies this year. Sixteen have been acted upon, one decision is pending, and the remainder were deemed not to violate the platform’s terms of service.
“We’ve had a few things over the last couple of weeks which effectively have been thinly veiled threats of violence to staff,” he said.
“We’ve referred those two platforms, and almost universally they come back and say that it doesn’t breach their standard. So things are changing.”
But Rogers would not be drawn on whether X’s approach had changed under Musk’s leadership, saying: “I don’t want to pick a fight with individual companies”.
Judge dismisses ticks and crosses challenge
“Just make it a fair process instead of trying to load the system and trying to skew it in favour of the Yes vote,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Federal Court dismissed a challenge from United Australia Party Senator Ralph Babet, and his party’s billionaire funder Clive Palmer, over the issue.
Rogers was pleased by the “emphatic” ruling, but noted parliament was responsible for setting how ticks and crosses were interpreted, and the AEC “made no decision” on the matter.
Remote voting starts, bushfire contingencies in place
Remote-area voting gets underway on Monday, with early voting centres across the states and territories between 2 and 3 October.
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/aec-battles-threats-to-staff-bonkers-voice-vote-conspiracies-on-social-media/7l6lhsxj4 AEC battles threats to staff, ‘bonkers’ Voice vote conspiracies on social media