The European Commission has launched a legal probe for misconduct in X's moderation policy, Source: Depositphotos

EU launches legal action against Elon Musk’s X for spreading disinfo

EU launches legal action against Elon Musk’s X for spreading disinfo

These will be the first proceedings for breach of DSA rules against a tech giant

Earlier today, the European Commission announced that it has initiated investigations against X (formerly Twitter) for a suspected breach of rules under the Digital Services Act (DSA) related to things like “risk management, content moderation, dark patterns, advertising transparency and data access for researchers”.

A preliminary report studied a range of documents, such as an analysis of the risk assessment report submitted by X in September, X's Transparency report published on 3 November, and X's replies to a formal request for information regarding the dissemination of illegal content in the context of the Hamas’ terrorist attacks and the war in the Gaza Strip.

The DSA entered into force a year ago to mandate very large social media platforms and search engines to get more serious about tackling the spread of disinformation when it’s considered a risk to public security as well as to protect their services and databases against purveyors of illegal content.

From words to action against disinformation

X, formerly known as Twitter, was designated as a Very Large Online Platform (VLOP) on 25 April 2023 under the EU's Digital Services Act, following its declaration of having 112 million monthly active users in the EU as reported to the Commission on 17 February 2023.

This obliges the social media platform to publish regular transparency reports every six months. Said report must include information on the way content is moderated, plus information on the composition and expertise of the moderating teams.

In addition, other items that must be reported are the number of notices received from users, and the number of actions the platform has taken to take down illegal content, among other things.

The European Commission has stated that opening the proceedings itself is not a conclusion on the outcome of the investigation.

The opening of formal proceedings empowers the EC to take further enforcement steps, such as interim measures, and non-compliance decisions. The Commission is also empowered to accept any commitment made by X to remedy the matters subject to the proceeding.

The DSA imposes new rules on content moderation, user privacy and transparency. Any firm found in breach faces a fine worth up to 6% of its global turnover.



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