The EU has started a probe on X(formerly Twitter) owned by Elon Musk. The allegations say that the platform is filled with propaganda and disinformation about the Israel-Hamas. The investigation started on Thursday this week ,and has sent a formal request for more information yesterday late to know about how it’s been handling problematic content on the platform.The step comes as preliminary point to launch a probe formally on the company.
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Why the need for a probe by EU?
The commission wants to find if the website failed to comply with the Digital Services Act (DSA) ,EU’s big tech regulator, by letting graphic illegal content and disinformation linked to Hamas’ attack on Israel run rampant. A lot of misleading posts have been circulating on X ,since Saturday.
Elon Musk’s social network has been rampant with falsehoods , graphic images and terrorist propaganda. Having become the focal point of EU action to take down this content. The tussle has intensified after Musk’s takeover,who believes in less content controlling, after layoffs and scaling down on content moderators.had fired content moderators and scaled down operations to prevent disinformation and illegal content ever since Musk took ownership of the company.
Implications on X
The formal probe could lead to fines being imposed on social media totalling up to 6 percent of a company’s global revenue.This would be the first time European Union Executives would have taken this step,under DSA after a compliance deadline for ‘very large online platforms’ started this summer.Though it hasn’t occurred yet,the bloc seems to be moving in that direction.
According to the EU bloc they would determine if X has been complying in areas with regards to notices in illegal content; handling of complaints;risk assessment and measures required to mitigate the disinformation. Platforms like X have additional responsibilities and identify systematic disinformation risks, gender-based violence and effects on fundamental rights.The regulation also includes crisis response enabling the Commission to adopt rapid-fire measures on larger platforms,in situations like war.
Response by X
X’s Chief Executive, Linda Yaccarino,in a letter to Mr. Breton on Wednesday responded to earlier questions from the European Union about content related to the war.She said tens of thousands of pieces of content has been removed by X after responding to more than 80 requests by EU officials. The company was actively working to address the operational needs of this fast-moving and evolving conflict, said Yaccarino.
The company had also shifted teams to focus on policing content related to the conflict and plans to add more transparency about its safety features,said an X representative.
The deadline to explain its crisis response to online terrorist propaganda and other violent and false content related to Hamas’ attacks on Israeli communities is October 18 for the tech giant. Details on other content moderation issues raised by the EU, has the deadline of October 31,with penalties on failing to meet it.The Commission will assess next steps,based on X’s reply the Commission wrote.
Mr. Thierry Breton, EU’s internal market Commissioner has also sent letters to Meta and TikTok asking about their policies on content related to the war. Letters to the head of Facebook’s and Instagram’s parent company Meta Mark Zuckerberg and to TikTok Chief Executive Officer Shou Zi Chew has also been sent in the last few days.