The European Union (EU) has sent a letter to Elon Musk, the owner of social media site X, warning that the platform was allowing illegal content and disinformation to spread after Hamas attacked Israel.
Thierry Breton, the EU’s Commissioner for the Internal Market, urged Musk to update X’s content enforcement policies and to manage content that violates the bloc’s tech laws in a timely manner.
“Following the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel, we have indications that your platform is being used to disseminate illegal content and disinformation in the EU,” Breton wrote in a letter to Musk and posted publicly on X.
“Let me remind you that the Digital Services Act (DSA) sets very precise obligations regarding content moderation.”
The DSA is, of course, part of the bloc’s technology-focused regulations crafted and designed to keep users safe and stop the spread of harmful content.
Cybernews has already reported that disinformation and propaganda are spreading like wildfire across X, formerly known as Twitter, and other social networks.
Since Saturday morning when Hamas, a Palestinian militant group fired thousands of rockets into Israel and stormed towns and villages in Southern Israel in a killing spree, the social media space has been flooded with old videos, fake photos, and false information.
The problem is especially prevalent on X, where content moderation is now almost non-existent. The platform said on Monday that it was “laser focused and dedicated to protecting the conversation on X and enforcing our rules as we continue to assess the situation on the platform.”
But in his letter, Breton also pointed to repurposed images of unrelated conflicts that purport to show horrors from the Hamas-Israel conflict. The commissioner reminded Musk of the potential for non-compliance penalties.
Musk, who is tremendously active on X, replied to Breton, asking him to list the supposed violations. In response, the commissioner said: “You are well aware of your users’ – and authorities’ – reports on fake content and glorification of violence. Up to you to demonstrate that you walk the talk.”
Researchers say that the quality of information on X worsened dramatically when Musk opened up access to the blue check marks that once denoted verified journalists, experts, or celebrities to anyone who pays for a monthly subscription.
Thousands are now masquerading as a media outlet or an objective analyst, and the algorithm promotes the content of paying users over that of others.
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