EU Launches Probe Against X for Suspected Disinformation Failures

The European Union has taken a bold step by initiating probe against X, the social media site that was formerly known as Twitter, under the Digital Services Act (DSA). The EU claims that X, under Elon Musk’s leadership, has not been able to successfully counteract manipulation and misinformation in content.

The probe against X is a result of possible violations of X’s transparency responsibilities and its duty to combat unlawful content and misinformation, according to Thierry Breton, the bloc’s regulator, who made this announcement on Monday. Large internet platforms like X are required under the DSA, which went into effect in November 2022, to reduce the risk of misinformation, put strong policies in place to eliminate hate speech, and balance these requirements with concerns about freedom of speech. Penalties for infractions can reach 6% of worldwide sales each year.

In response, X sent a prepared social media message reiterating its dedication to abiding by the DSA and assisting with the legal procedure. The business underlined the value of a politically neutral procedure and restated its commitment to preserving free speech while fostering a secure and welcoming atmosphere.

Based on a preliminary investigation that included a review of X’s risk assessment report, transparency report, and answers to official requests for information, the European Commission started the legal process. The emphasis will be on X’s adherence to obligations to prevent the transmission of illicit content, efficiency in thwarting information manipulation, and steps to promote transparency.

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One noteworthy component of the investigation is the purported “deceptive design” of X’s user interface, specifically with reference to its “blue checks.” These blue ticks, according to X, indicate verified accounts that match certain eligibility requirements, have an active X Premium subscription, and show no indications of spam or platform manipulation.

With a warning to social media sites like X, Meta, and TikTok in mid-October regarding misinformation and violent posts pertaining to the Israel-Hamas conflict, Thierry Breton had hinted at the investigation. There is no legal timeframe specified by the DSA for the completion of formal procedures, and the European Commission intends to proceed with evidence collecting.

In a another instance, privacy activist Max Schrems has filed a lawsuit against X, claiming the site improperly targeted users with advertisements based on their political and religious beliefs. The regulatory focus on X highlights the increased attention that big social media companies are receiving in the wake of changing issues with user transparency and content control.

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