AEC aims to pour cold water on political spin

By Melissa Coade

April 13, 2022

AEC signage
The AEC cautions the pandemic may delay the election result. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Spin, misinformation and disinformation will be the target of a new campaign launched by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) ahead of the federal election.

‘Stop right now, thank you very much’, the AEC’s new online campaign, wants to encourage voters to ‘stop and consider’ the political information being peddled for the May 21 election. 

The campaign advises people to reflect on three things when assessing materials: firstly asking if the information is reliable, then questioning how current it is, and finally considering whether it is safe (and not a scam).

AEC commissioner Tom Rogers said the campaign is built on the success of a similar one run in 2019. 

“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 – to stop and consider,” Rogers said. 

“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.”

The commissioner explained a lot of explicit campaign material or other content is designed to make people react emotionally by feeling either shock, excitement or anger. 

“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. 

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

The AEC’s campaign will start to appear on voter’s social media feeds and via digital displays. Translated versions of the material will also be disseminated for Australia’s CALD community. 

Other agency resources to combat spin include the AEC’s disinformation register, its YouTube channel, and online resources.


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