EU Launches Formal Investigation into Elon Musk's X, Formerly Twitter Content Moderation Practices
EU investigates X (formerly Twitter) over content practices. Potential fines under new law. Explore the details of the formal inquiry and X's response.
The European Union (EU) has formally launched an investigation into X, formerly Twitter, citing concerns about the platform's content moderation practices. This scrutiny, authorized under the EU's new law, holds the possibility of significant fines or penalties.
Elon Musk's ownership of X comes under particular focus, especially regarding the paid verification system, which EU officials have labeled a "suspected deceptive design." The investigation extends to content handling, including discussions around the Israel-Hamas war, and evaluates X's Community Notes for countering misinformation in civic discourse and elections.
Thierry Breton, a key EU digital regulation commissioner, made the announcement on the platform, stating, "Today we open formal infringement proceedings against @X."
Today we open formal infringement proceedings against @X :
⚠️ Suspected breach of obligations to counter #IllegalContent and #Disinformation
⚠️ Suspected breach of #Transparency obligations
⚠️ Suspected #DeceptiveDesign of user interface#DSA pic.twitter.com/NxKIif603k — Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) December 18, 2023
The investigation aims to determine whether X violated the Digital Services Act (DSA), with potential fines reaching up to 6% of its global annual revenues.
Key aspects under review include X's efforts to combat illegal content and disinformation, and whether the platform has met transparency rules in providing access to company data for independent researchers.
Criticism from academics has surfaced, particularly concerning X's costly data access fees. These fees raised concerns about potential disruptions to public service updates, later alleviated by Musk's exception for government accounts.
This formal investigation follows earlier inquiries prompted by concerns about Hamas-affiliated accounts on X following attacks against Israel on October 7.
Thierry Breton consistently emphasized the EU's scrutiny of social media platforms' legal compliance. Musk, in a meeting before acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in May, expressed support for European regulations.
In response to the investigation, X pledged cooperation, highlighting its commitment to DSA compliance. The company emphasized the need for a politically unbiased process, underscoring its dedication to a secure and inclusive environment while safeguarding freedom of expression.