European Union regulators on Thursday opened an inquiry into X, the social media platform owned by Elon Musk, over the prevalence of gory videos and pictures, terrorism content material and different illicit materials it’s carrying associated to the Israel-Hamas struggle.
E.U. authorities formally requested info from X, as soon as often called Twitter, step one in what may develop into a wider investigation of the corporate. Regulators are inspecting whether or not X violated a brand new European regulation, the Digital Services Act, which requires giant social media firms to cease the unfold of unlawful content material, disinformation and different dangerous materials. Beneath the regulation, firms might be penalized as much as 6 p.c of their world revenues.
The struggle has intensified a simmering dispute between Mr. Musk, who believes in much less content material moderation on X and has lowered the scale of groups that carried out these roles, and regulators within the European Union, the place free speech protections are extra restricted in comparison with the USA.
“The #DSA is right here to guard each freedom of expression & our democracies — together with in instances of disaster,” Thierry Breton, the European commissioner behind the regulation, said on X.
The European Fee, the chief department of the 27-nation bloc, mentioned X had till Oct. 18 to offer details about disaster protocols put in place for the reason that struggle started on Saturday, and till Oct. 31 to offer further details about different insurance policies it has in place to mitigate the unfold of illicit content material.
Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief govt, wrote a letter to Mr. Breton on Wednesday responding to earlier questions from the E.U. about content material associated to the struggle. In her letter, she mentioned X had eliminated or labeled “tens of 1000’s” of items of content material and responded to greater than 80 requests from E.U. officers to take away unlawful content material for the reason that battle started.
A consultant for X mentioned the corporate had additionally shifted groups to deal with policing content material associated to the battle and that it deliberate so as to add extra transparency about its security options.
Mr. Breton has additionally despatched letters to Meta and TikTok asking about their insurance policies on content material associated to the struggle.