Partnerships in place to counter harmful electoral disinformation

Tuesday 4 October 2022

For immediate release

One month out from the issue of the writs and the official start of the election period, 5 key online platforms have signed a multilateral Statement of Intent with the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) confirming their commitment to electoral integrity and countering harmful electoral disinformation.

The arrangements - established with Meta, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and TikTok - establish a framework for detailed operational arrangements to protect Victoria's democracy this State election. Each platform agrees to put in place processes for the VEC to refer harmful disinformation to them for restriction or removal, where that content breaches Victoria's Electoral Act 2002 (Vic) or the platform's policies.

Electoral Commissioner, Warwick Gately commends the platforms for their public commitment to protecting election integrity.

'Victorians are likely to see over the next few months a variety of electoral-related misinformation and disinformation campaigns,' Mr Gately said.

'While I encourage free speech as part of the democratic process, disinformation campaigns designed to disenfranchise voters cannot be tolerated.

'We will be particularly looking at content that is in breach of Victorian electoral law - electoral campaign material that is unauthorised, or material that deceives or misleads voters in relation to the casting of their vote.

'Our partnership with the online platforms will protect Victorians and ensure an accurate, healthy debate leading into the election, and we look forward to receiving their support this November.'

The Statement of Intent is available on the VEC website: How we work with online platforms