Australian politicians are targeting voters on WeChat. But fake content could end up costing them

(CNN)As Australia prepares for its election, campaigning is heating up on China's biggest social messaging platform.

It's the first time, social media experts say, that politicians from both of Australia's main political parties are making a proactive push on WeChat to win over the country's ethnic Chinese population, which has almost doubled in a decade.
They say it's a positive step in engaging with a community which doesn't always consume mainstream media and that has found itself caught in the political crossfire in the past.
    But as WeChat increasingly becomes a campaign battleground ahead of Saturday's election, it's also become home to misinformation.
      Some users have shared a screen shot of a tweet which appears to show Labor leader Bill Shorten -- a frontrunner for Prime Minister, according to recent polls -- saying: "Immigration of people from the Middle East is the future Australia needs."
      But there's a problem: The tweet is not from Shorten's verified account and his campaign told CNN he did not send that tweet.
      Labor is so worried about the effect of false posts that it has written to Tencent, WeChat's Chinese parent company, according to CNN affiliate SBS.
      WeChat's parent company Tencent did not respond to CNN's questions on if it had received a letter from the Labor party, and what it is doing to prevent the spread of misinformation. However, WeChat users are able to download a filter to identify possible rumors, and can report groups if they are concerned by the content.

      A new kind of campaign

      During Australia's last federal election in 2016, the eastern Melbourne electorate of Chisholm voted Liberal after almost two decades with a Labor MP. The winning candidate had an additional weapon in her arsenal: An underground campaign on WeChat.
      WeChat boasts over 1 billion users worldwide, and has an estimated