Ape in army helmet(l), X app on phone with twitter logo in background(c), Three simple figures(r)

Adeel Ahmed photos/Shutterstock WallStreetApes/X CommunityNotes/X (Licensed)

The biggest B.S. artists online are turning against Musk’s master fact-checking plan—and X might be aiding them

'My account reach is allowed to be destroyed by mainstream media links, gov links & fact check sites?'

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Posted on Feb 13, 2024

Community Notes, Elon Musk’s master plan for misinformation on X, is facing backlash this week as supporters of the site claim they’re being targeted by it.

And a website that purports to track who on X is getting flagged the most—which revealed it was Musk and some of his sycophants—is being blocked.

In remarks on Monday, the popular user “Wall Street Apes,” a self-described conspiracy theorist with more than 275,000 followers, bemoaned that many of their posts had been flagged as inaccurate.

Despite Community Notes being publicly visible on offending posts, Wall Street Apes appeared shocked after being told by X owner Elon Musk’s AI chatbot “Grok” that their account was being hit with fact-checks.

In its response to a prompt from Apes, a screenshot of Grok says that the account has “received numerous notes” adding that it believed the notes weren’t proper, saying ” … “some of which have been controversial or misleading.”

“According To @grok, My account is in fact being targeted by @CommunityNotes,” the user wrote. “Weren’t bad actors supposed to be removed from the program @X @elonmusk @lindayaX @Support? My account reach is allowed to be destroyed by mainstream media links, gov links & fact check sites?”

The Community Notes program, according to X, allows users to collaboratively add context to potentially misleading posts. If numerous contributors rate a specific note as helpful, that message will be shown publicly on the post.

A quick glance at the account for Wall Street Apes shows numerous posts containing false information, including one which pushes the debunked theory that painting one’s roof blue would protect their home from imagined space lasers used to start wildfires in Hawaii.

Followers of Wall Street Apes appeared to agree that the Community Notes program was faulty for flagging their posts.

“The community notes system is a failure,” one user said.

As is often the case, conspiracy theorists also suggested that their posts being fact-checked simply proved that they were correct all along.

“Keep at it wallstreet! You’re accountable is to valuable! That’s why they are targeting you!” another added. “Just ask for help sharing your content when you’re being throttled. We will always share the hell out of your posts.”

Although Musk has championed Community Notes as a net positive, it remains unclear whether the feature is as impartial as he claims.

Prior to his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson had a post of his fact-checked by the Kremlin after he falsely claimed that no Western journalists had attempted to speak with the world leader following his invasion of Ukraine.

Yet not long after, the note was removed without explanation.

Community Notes on posts from Musk have disappeared as well. In one such instance, Musk alleged without providing evidence that a note placed on one of his posts had been gamed by “state actors” after users noticed that it had been removed.

Early last month, a website known as community-notes-leaderboard.com also detailed how Musk and his biggest cheerleaders and conspiracy theorists were some of the most fact-checked users on X. Since then, all links to the website have been banned from X. Those attempting to post the website URL are met with the message: “We can’t complete this request because this link has been identified by X or our partners as being potentially harmful.”

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*First Published: Feb 13, 2024, 8:04 am CST