Elon Musk Clashes with His Own Community Notes

Musk's latest tweet sparks debate over tech requirements

by Zain ul Abedin
Elon Musk Clashes with His Own Community Notes
© Omar Marques/Getty Images

In a surprising turn of events, X's CEO, Elon Musk, found himself in a public disagreement with the platform's own fact-checking feature, Community Notes. The conflict emerged over a post Musk made regarding the setup process for a new laptop, igniting a debate over the accuracy of his claims and the efficacy of the Community Notes system.

Musk's initial post expressed frustration about being compelled to create a Microsoft account to use his new laptop. "Just bought a new PC laptop and it won’t let me use it unless I create a Microsoft account, which also means giving their AI access to my computer!" he lamented.

He reminisced about a time when bypassing the Microsoft account creation was an option. However, a Community Note quickly appeared, countering Musk's assertion. The note clarified that setting up the latest version of Windows without a Microsoft account is still possible, citing a utility guide from process management platform Process.

The Community Notes feature, designed for crowdsourced fact-checking, allows qualified contributors to add contextual notes to posts they find misleading. To be eligible, contributors must have used X for over six months, comply with its rules, and have a verified phone number.

The feature aims to democratize the fact-checking process, displaying notes widely if they receive substantial endorsement from diverse contributors.

Musk Challenges Community Notes

Musk has previously lauded Community Notes, celebrating its contribution to making X "the most accurate source of information on Earth, without regard to political affiliation." Interestingly, Musk has been corrected by this feature before, notably when he shared a doctored CNN story, a correction he then acknowledged as appropriate.

This time, however, Musk's response was one of disappointment. "Community Notes is failing here," he retorted, insisting the option to bypass Microsoft account creation no longer exists. Yet, another Community Note was added to his reply, stating that while the process isn't as straightforward as in Windows 10, it's still achievable through less-known workarounds.

This Note also linked to a forum discussion where users shared various methods to circumvent the Microsoft account requirement during Windows 11 installation. Despite its utility, Community Notes faces challenges in reaching a broader audience, particularly on viral posts.

A Mashable investigation highlighted that due to the time it takes for Notes to get approved, they often reach only a fraction of X's users who have seen the original, potentially misleading post. This raises questions about the feature's visibility and impact in real-time information dissemination.

Elon Musk