The European Commission threatened the social media network “X” (formerly Twitter) with sanctions, calling on its CEO Elon Musk to provide clarifications within 24 hours regarding the circulation of “misinformation and violent images related to the conflict in Israel.”
Digital Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a letter: “Following the terrorist attacks launched by Hamas on Israel, we have information indicating that your platform is used to spread illegal and misleading content within the European Union” – in his words.
Hours later, the billionaire responded directly on his network, saying: “Our policy is for everything to be open and transparent, which I know is an approach the European Union supports.”
Since the start of Operation “Al-Aqsa Storm” on Saturday morning, social media has been flooded with images and videos containing scenes of killing and destruction, as well as misleading attempts, posing a challenge to content oversight teams on platforms.
The European Commissioner wrote in his letter dated October 10: “We have received, from trusted sources, a report on content that may be illegal that is circulating on your network despite notifications from competent authorities.”
Breton reminded Musk that “when you receive notifications of illegal content in the European Union, you must act quickly, diligently, objectively and remove content when justified.”
Breton is basing this on the new European legislation on digital services which has applied since the end of August to 19 major platforms.
After acquiring Twitter last year, Musk fired all content oversight teams, while continuously emphasizing his vision of freedom of expression and rejection of any “censorship”, although he stresses that his platform respects the laws of each country in this area.
At the end of September, the European Commission expressed concern about the rate of misinformation on “X”, pointing to poor results recorded during tests conducted on a number of platforms.
Since last week, links and news articles shared on the platform appear as images without a title or description, which can lead to a decline in the use of factual information sites.
Thierry Breton reminded the US President Joe Biden of the “very clear obligations” incumbent upon him with regard to content oversight.