EU Targets X For Social Media Law Breach, Elon Musk Deflects: “Other Social Media?”

The European Union has initiated formal infringement proceedings against social media company X over suspected violations of the Digital Services Act (DSA). This marks the EU’s first probe under the recently implemented law, aimed at regulating online platforms with more than 45 million active users.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market of the European Union, announced the proceedings ironically on X, stating, “Today we open formal infringement proceedings against @X.” The allegations against X include a suspected breach of obligations related to countering illegal content and disinformation, transparency obligations, and deceptive design of the user interface.

Johannes Bahrke, a spokesperson for the European Commission, clarified during a news briefing in Brussels that the investigation would focus on X’s systems and policies concerning these suspected infringements. Bahrke emphasized that the Commission does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

The inquiry will scrutinize whether X adequately addressed the spread of illegal content and effectively combated information manipulation, particularly through its Community Notes fact-checking feature. The latter allows users to flag false or misleading content, representing a form of crowd-sourced fact-checking.

Moreover, the investigation will delve into concerns regarding user interface issues, deceptive use of “verified” accounts, and restricted access to researchers. The EU aims to ensure that online platforms comply with the DSA, which mandates active efforts to tackle illegal content, protect public security, and guard against manipulative techniques.

In response to the proceedings, X, owned by Elon Musk, released a statement affirming its commitment to complying with the Digital Services Act and expressing cooperation with the regulatory process. The company stressed the importance of maintaining a process free of political influence while working towards creating a safe and inclusive environment for users.

The European Union initiated a preliminary investigation in October, reminding major platforms, including X, Meta, TikTok, and Alphabet, of their obligations under the DSA during the Israel-Hamas conflict. Musk, in response to the disinformation charge, questioned whether similar actions were being taken against other social media platforms.

“Are you taking action against other social media? Because if you have those issues with this platform, and none are perfect, the others are much worse,” Musk said.

As the formal investigation unfolds, the European Commission plans to conduct in-depth inquiries through additional requests for information, interviews, and inspections. The focus remains on countering the dissemination of illegal content and assessing the effectiveness of measures taken by X to combat information manipulation.

The DSA, enacted in November of the previous year, introduces new rules governing content moderation, user privacy, and transparency. Any firm found in breach of these regulations faces fines of up to 6 percent of its global turnover.

Information for this briefing was found via Al Jazeera and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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