EU commissioner Thierry Breton warned Elon Musk in a letter today that X, formerly Twitter, “is being used to disseminate illegal content and disinformation in the EU” after Hamas attacks in Israel. Breton also reminded Musk that the Digital Services Act (DSA), which went into effect in August, “sets very precise obligations regarding content moderation.”
The commissioner wrote that illegal content flagged by “relevant authorities” was still on the site, signifying that nothing had been done about it. The DSA, he noted, requires X to remove such content quickly and objectively. He added that Musk’s platform needs to have “proportionate and effective mitigation measures” to deal with “risks to public security and civic discourse” that resulted from disinformation.
Following the terrorist attacks by Hamas against , we have indications of X/Twitter being used to disseminate illegal content & disinformation in the EU.
— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) October 10, 2023
Breton added that the media and other organizations “widely report” misleading imagery and facts from X, listing examples like old pictures from previous armed conflicts and video game footage.
EU regulators chastised Musk in late September over disinformation on the platform, with European commissioner Věra Jourová saying then that the platform has the “largest ratio of mis/disinformation” even compared to Facebook. Though Musk’s platform had departed the voluntary EU Code of Practice on Disinformation, the DSA requires X and other “Very Large Online Platforms” to comply with similar guidelines to those laid out in the code.
Commissioner Breton ended his letter urging Musk to send back a “prompt, accurate, and complete response” to his request in the next 24 hours, adding that the answer will be included in the EU’s DSA compliance file on X.