Illegal content on Elon Musk’s X attracts EU investigation

Illegal content on Elon Musk’s X attracts EU investigation

The European Union on Monday announced a formal investigation into X, the social media platform owned by Elon Musk, for failures to counter illegal content and disinformation, lack of transparency on advertising and “deceptive” design practices.

THE investigation It is perhaps the most substantial regulatory move to date against X since it scaled back its content moderation policies after Musk bought the service, once known as Twitter, last year. According to researchers, the company’s new policies have led to an increase in incendiary content on the platform, forcing brands to scale back advertising.

In prosecuting The law gives regulators broad new powers to force social media companies to police their platforms against hate speech, misinformation and other controversial content.

The European Commission, the executive branch of the 27-nation bloc, had signaled its intention to look more closely at X’s business practices. In October, regulators launched a preliminary investigation into the spread of “terrorist and violent content and hate speech” on X after the start of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

X did not respond to a request for comment.

The survey highlights a big difference between the United States and Europe in Internet control. While online postings are largely unregulated in the United States due to protections of free speech, European governments, for historical and cultural reasons, have introduced greater restrictions on hate speech, incitement to violence, and other harmful material.

The Digital Services Act was an attempt by the EU to force companies to put in place procedures to more consistently comply with rules relating to such online content.

Monday’s announcement is the start of an investigation with no specified deadline. The investigation is expected to include interviews with external groups and requests for further evidence from X. If found guilty of violating the Digital Services Act, the company could be fined up to 6% of global revenue.

EU officials said X may not comply with rules requiring online platforms to respond quickly after being made aware of illegal and hateful content, such as anti-Semitism and incitement to terrorism. The law also requires companies to conduct risk assessments regarding the spread of harmful content on their platforms and implement mitigation measures.

Officials also expressed concern about X’s content moderation policies in languages ​​other than English, particularly as continent-wide elections approach in 2024.

Additionally, the investigation will examine X’s efforts to combat the spread of false information. The company relies on a feature, called Community Notes, that allows users to add context to posts they deem misleading, an approach that EU officials say may not be sufficient. Regulators will also look at how posts from X users who pay to be authenticated, symbolized by a blue tick, are given greater visibility.