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Australian Census search prompt to support Census conversations

By Kara Hinesley
Thursday, 29 July 2021

The public conversation on Twitter is never more important than during major civic events, the cornerstones of our democracy. Today, we want to provide an update on Twitter’s efforts with regard to the 2021 Australian Census.

This year, Census Night is taking place on Tuesday, 10 August 2021, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will count every person and household in Australia. 

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The Census is the most comprehensive snapshot of the country and tells the story of how Australia is changing. 

People will be able to complete their Census online, on paper, or with help from the ABS. This year, everyone can start their Census as soon as they receive instructions, if they know where they’ll be on Tuesday 10 August.

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There is also translated information available in a number of languages. For more information, visit the 2021 Census website at https://census.abs.gov.au/.

Direct engagement with the Australian Bureau of Statistics and key stakeholders

Ensuring the public can find information from authoritative sources is a key aspect of our commitment to serve the public conversation on Twitter. Our outreach and close partnership with ABS officials has driven our approach to keeping the conversation healthy. 

Through direct planning and training, we have worked to ensure credible, updated information is being surfaced for people looking for information on how to complete the Census.

According to Andrew Henderson, Census National Spokesperson and Executive Director, ABS “It’s important that people can access a reliable and official source of information about the 2021 Census. I encourage people to visit the Census website for key information about doing the Census and how we can help people to complete their Census”.  

“We want to make sure people have the information they need to participate, because the Census provides a picture of the economic, social and cultural makeup of Australia. Data from the Census informs important decisions about transport, schools, health care, infrastructure, and business. It also helps plan local services for individuals, families, and communities.”

Here’s what we’re doing to protect the Twitter conversation related to the #Census2021: 

Dedicated Census search prompt

We’ve partnered with the Australian Bureau of Statistics to launch a new tool so when someone searches for certain keywords associated with the Census, a prompt will direct individuals to the official Census site: https://census.abs.gov.au/. This website, which has information available in 25 languages, provides clear information on the 2021 Census, how to participate, and how the Census process will safeguard individual privacy and security.

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This search prompt is available in English, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese, on iOS, Android, and mobile.twitter.com in Australia. This is an expansion of our #KnowTheFacts prompt, which we specifically put in place for the public to find clear, credible information on critical issues. 

Expanding policy enforcement to protect the Census conversation

It is against the Twitter Rules to share false or misleading information about how to participate in a civic event. As is part of our company-wide efforts to fight misinformation regarding participation in civic events globally, our existing Civic Integrity policy applies to Census-related content to make certain the Census conversation on Twitter remains healthy.

Additionally, the ABS has launched a multi-pronged public service media campaign aimed at driving awareness and participation in the Census. 

Some Twitter highlights include: 

Timeline and Trend Takeover: 24-hour Takeover of both the first promoted Tweet all individuals in Australia will see in their timeline when they open Twitter, as well as the large image/video canvas on the top of the Explore tab. The Takeover will begin on 9 August, ahead of Census Day in Australia on 10 August and will encourage Australians to fill out their Census.

Like-to-remind campaign: This feature allows Australians on Twitter to Like an ABS Tweet to opt-in to receive push notifications via Direct Message from the @ABSStats account. This will include reminders aimed at informing people on Twitter about key Census benefits and driving participation online.

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Video Website and Carousel Cards: These features help reach new audiences and drive people to their website or app through an easy to navigate card. With more creative space and flexibility, you can seamlessly transition through various products, highlight specific features, or tell a brand story that develops across a Video Website or Carousel cards.

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For updates on the Australian Census, follow @ABSStats and for updates on Twitter’s civic integrity work, follow @TwitterAU and @Policy.

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@2989213178

Kara Hinesley

‎@karahinesley‎

Head of Public Policy, Australia and New Zealand

Only on Twitter