Stop and consider

Updated: 12 April 2019

Check the source this federal election

During a federal election there is a large amount of information being distributed, much of it online, which is seeking to influence your vote. Some of this may be disinformation, or false information.

The Stop and consider campaign is about helping you to check the source of information so you can cast an informed vote this federal election.

A federal election is a contest of ideas and electoral laws do not regulate the truth of electoral communications. It’s important that you consider what you see, hear or read. If you have doubts about the source of information there are questions you can ask to help you form your own opinion and make a decision.

Your role as a voter

Take the time to consider if the information is:

Is it from a reliable or recognisable source?

Do you know the source of the information? Has it come from an accredited media outlet or verified social media account?

When was it published?

Just because a post/article was shared today does not mean it is current. Always check the original source and publication date.

Could it be a scam?

If you are suspicious of the source or content of information being communicated on social media or other digital platforms, it is important to think carefully before engaging.

Where possible, you should check the contact details of the source of the information.

The AEC’s role

The AEC is the independent agency tasked with running the 2019 federal election.

The AEC’s role is to:

Provide reliable information on the electoral process

The AEC will provide easy access to information regarding how to enrol, vote or run as a candidate through our advertising campaign, website, contact centre and social media accounts.

If there is any incorrect information about these election processes, the AEC will act to correct the record. Outside these election processes – the AEC does not have any role in checking the truth of electoral communication.

Investigate the authorisation of electoral communications

Certain electoral communications are required to be authorised to help you to know the source of that information. On receipt of complaints, the AEC will investigate electoral communications that are not properly authorised.

Engage with others about electoral communication

The AEC is working with other government agencies, media and social media platforms to ensure that electoral laws are compiled with.

The AEC also has information available outlining the electoral laws for individual and organisations planning to communicate.

There are others that also have a role in helping to address the risk of disinformation this federal election.

The role of other government agencies

A number of government agencies are working in a coordinated way to identify and address the risk of disinformation in election information.

Some government agencies also have a role in providing resources that can help you ask questions about information:

The role of communicators

It is the responsibility of each candidate, party or other person or organisation making communications about the federal election to ensure their electoral communications contribute to the federal election and comply with relevant laws, including ensuring that they are appropriately authorised.

The role of media channels

Media representatives and social media organisations have a role to play, in both the appropriate creation and distribution of electoral communication. Television and radio broadcasters have obligations in relation to political communications under the broadcasting laws.

Social media companies have resources that can help you to ask question about electoral information.

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