The EU Commission is taking unprecedented action against the way Twitter/X is currently handling information about the latest terrorist attack on Israel. If Elon Musk’s company does not react quickly, there will be severe penalties.
Moderation cut down
The social media platform has come under fire in recent days because of a veritable flood of disinformation and propaganda surrounding the Palestinian Hamas attacks on the Israeli civilian population. This is actually the climax so far of a development that is directly related to the company management by the entrepreneur Musk.
After taking over the platform, he began to grant access to Twitter again, especially to right-wing radical and reactionary forces. At the same time, the team responsible for moderating the content was massively cut. For a long time now, this had led to increasingly harsh tones, and moderate users were turning their backs on the network in large numbers.
Recent events in particular have forced Brussels to take action. In a letter to Musk published yesterday, the responsible EU Commissioner, Thierry Breton, referred to the Digital Services Act, which regulates the responsibility of platform operators with regard to moderating illegal content and misinformation.
Severe penalties threatened
“I urge you to provide a prompt, accurate, and complete response to this request within the next 24 hours,” Breton said. This is the friendly formulation of a rather tough deadline. If Musk does not respond and explain how Twitter wants to quickly ensure the implementation of the legal requirements, two different punitive measures could result.
EU legislation stipulates that fines of up to 6 percent of group sales can be imposed. This form would probably also be interesting for the public because, as a side effect, the platform’s current revenue situation would be known. The second option is a ban on Twitter/X operating in the EU.
The harsh reaction from Brussels is probably also related to the fact that Musk has withdrawn his platform from a voluntary code of conduct in the social media industry. Facebook, Google, TikTok, and others are working with the EU authorities to improve content moderation – but Twitter no longer wants to participate in this.
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