On Thursday, European Union authorities launched a probe into X to assess its compliance with the Digital Services Act (DSA), a new regulation for Big Tech. The investigation aims to determine if the website allowed the proliferation of graphic illegal content and disinformation related to Hamas’ attack on Israel.
The Commission formally requested information from X, which was previously known as Twitter and was bought by entrepreneur Elon Musk last year, regarding their methods for addressing problematic content on the platform.
This is a preliminary action taken in order to initiate an official investigation, which may result in social media companies being fined up to 6% of their worldwide revenue. This is the first instance in which the European Union has taken such action.
X has a deadline of October 18 to clarify their plan for addressing the spread of terrorist propaganda and other harmful and misleading content related to Hamas’ attacks on Israeli communities. They must also submit information by October 31 regarding any other concerns raised by the EU regarding their content moderation practices.
The European Union is currently examining whether the policies and actions of a well-known social media platform comply with the DSA, a newly implemented law that serves as the governing regulations for addressing terrorist, illegal, and fake content on social media. Additionally, officials are reviewing the company’s handling of complaints and their methods for identifying and mitigating significant risks such as the dissemination of illegal content and disinformation.
“The [Digital Services Act] is here to protect both freedom of expression & our democracies — including in times of crisis,” Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on X.
Elon Musk’s social media platform has been inundated with explicit images, false information, and terrorist materials. The network has become the primary target for EU efforts to remove this type of content, after facing widespread backlash for laying off content moderators and reducing operations to combat misinformation and illegal content since Musk assumed control of the company.
In recent days, the EU Commission’s Breton has written letters to Meta Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, and Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok.
Linda Yaccarino, the Chief Executive Officer of X, responded on Thursday to concerns expressed by Breton in a public letter. She stated that the company is actively working to address the operational requirements of this rapidly changing and developing conflict.
The Commission is expected to make a decision by October 31 on whether or not to initiate formal proceedings against X.