Europe has announced the opening of an investigation against Xthe company formerly known as Twitter, for the alleged dissemination of illegal content and disinformation. This move follows the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and the spread of false and potentially dangerous content on the platform.
Europe investigates X (ex-Twitter) for disinformation after Hamas attack
As Techcrunch reports, this is the first investigation launched under the Digital Services Act (DSA) dell’UE, which aims to regulate online services and the dissemination of content. The DSA identifies ex-Twitter as a “very broad online platform”, required to reduce the risk of causing misinformation and illegal content.
Instead, according to the EU, after the terrorist attack on posts appeared with false and misleading content, which have increased concerns about the spread of misinformation. This content includes videos shot last month in Egypt and video game missile attacksposted on the platform as videos of the Hamas attack on Israel.
The warning from the European Union
After EU fact-checkers identified the fake videos, it warned X and its owner Elon Musk last Tuesday. He thus officially requested the removal of these contents. The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said the EU has “clues” that some users are spreading illegal content and disinformation about X and asked Musk to respond to inquiries within 24 hours.
In response to the warning, the CEO of Linda Yaccarino, announced the establishment of a management group to review content related to terrorist groups, violence and extremism. He further stated that the company is collaborating with the police, but he received no requests from Interpol up to that point. X highlighted the huge amount of posts related to the Hamas terrorist attack. X’s security account said that there were over 50 million posts about Hamas attacks on Israel. This underlines the scale of the challenge in moderating content generated by users.
Musk himself said he had fired 80% of Twitter’s staff since he bought it last year. Among these, too the social media moderation team has seen many layoffs.
The EU investigation into X for disinformation
Now that an investigation has been opened, X will have to provide information to the EU by 18 October on the functioning of its crisis response protocol and respond to other requests by October 31st.
The EU has the power to impose sanctions for DSA violations, including financial penalties for failure to respond within the established deadlines. This is an important development in the regulation of online content and could have a significant impact on how X manages and monitors content on its platform.
At the same time, this move by the EU demonstrates the growing concern about the spread of illegal content and disinformation online. It remains to be seen how X will respond to the EU’s investigation and requests. We will keep you posted.