EU has new targets for Elon Musk over its Illicit content


European Union Announced Investigation For Elon Musk

Elon Musks social media platform X was the subject of a formal investigation by the European Union on Monday. The investigation focused on the platform’s alleged failure to prevent the spread of false information and illegal content, its lack of advertising transparency, and its use of “deceptive” design techniques. 

The announcement made on Monday marks the start of an open-ended investigation. Requests for additional evidence from X and interviews with external groups are anticipated components of the investigation. Should the Digital Services Act be found to have been broken, the corporation might face fines as high as 6% of its worldwide sales.

The investigation is probably the biggest regulatory action against X to date since it loosened its rules regarding content moderation following Mr. Musk’s acquisition of the formerly known as Twitter last year. Researchers claim that the company’s new policies have increased the amount of incendiary content on the platform, forcing brands to reduce their advertising.

The European Union is pursuing X for the first time with the authority it acquired following the passing of the Digital Services Act last year. The law grants authorities enormous new authority to compel social media firms to screen their platforms for hate speech, false information, and other contentious material. The new law also applies to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and other services.

The executive arm of the 27-nation bloc, the European Commission, had indicated that it intended to investigate X’s business practices in greater detail. Authorities opened a preliminary investigation into the dissemination of “terrorist and violent content and hate speech” on X following the commencement of the Israel-Gaza conflict in October.

Elon Musk Disbanded the safety and trust council of the platform.

After his takeover of the platform, Musk reorganized its content moderation procedures, disbanded the trust and safety council, and allowed a large number of previously banned users to return. Since then, dozens of studies have been published that show an almost immediate increase in hateful posts and antisemitic content.

The nonprofit Institute for Strategic Dialogue, which tracks extremism and misinformation, discovered that following Musk’s takeover, the number of English-language antisemitic posts on X more than doubled. The European Commission discovered that following Musk’s lifting of mitigating measures at the beginning of this year, engagement with pro-Kremlin accounts increased by 36%.

A wave of natural disasters occurred all over the world, and on X, false information about climate change quickly proliferated. X received a single point out of a possible 21 on a scorecard assessing social media companies for their efforts in combating misinformation about climate change.

According to EU officials, X might not abide by regulations requiring online platforms to take swift action when they become aware of illegal and hateful content, such as antisemitic and violent incitement and terrorism. By the law, businesses must also evaluate and reduce the risk of harmful content spreading across their platforms. 

Concerns regarding X’s non-English content moderation policies were voiced by officials, especially with the approaching 2024 elections throughout the continent.

The company uses a tool called Community Notes, which allows users to add context to posts that they think contain misleading information. However, EU officials have stated that this approach might not be enough. Regulators will also investigate the increased visibility of posts made by X users who have paid for authentication, indicated by a blue check mark.

The investigation will assess the EU’s capacity to compel major internet companies to alter their operations. Musk has been a vocal supporter of the right to free speech and removed X from the EU’s voluntary code of conduct to thwart misinformation in May.

Musk pushed regulators to provide proof of illegal content on X. He asked, “Please list the violations you allude to on X, so that they are visible to the public.”

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