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Elon’s X In Hot Water As EU Launches Investigation Into ‘Worst Online Platform’

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Elon Musk
The EU has slammed X as the worst place online for fake news, and officials have exhorted owner Elon Musk to do more to clean it up. (Archive)

The European Union (EU) has launched a formal investigation into Elon Musk’s online platform, X, over potential breaches of stringent social media regulations. This marks a pivotal moment as it is the first inquiry of its kind since the implementation of rules designed to tackle the toxicity of online content.

European Commissioner Thierry Breton announced the commencement of formal infringement proceedings against @X under the recently enacted Digital Services Act. The investigation will delve into X’s systems and policies, focusing on suspected infringements without precluding any potential outcomes.

Johannes Bahrke, spokesperson for the European Commission, revealed in a press briefing in Brussels, “The Commission will now scrutinize X’s systems and policies related to certain suspected infringements. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.”

The probe will specifically examine whether X, previously known as Twitter, took sufficient measures to curb the spread of illegal content and assess the effectiveness of its strategies against “information manipulation,” particularly through its Community Notes feature.

Additionally, the EU will investigate X’s transparency with researchers and explore suspicions surrounding the design of its user interface, including the blue check subscription service, with concerns of a potential “deceptive design.”

In response to the investigation, X released a statement affirming its commitment to complying with the Digital Services Act and actively cooperating with the regulatory process.

“X remains committed to complying with the Digital Services Act, and is cooperating with the regulatory process,” the company said in a statement. “It is important that this process remains free of political influence and follows the law. X is focused on creating a safe and inclusive environment for all users on our platform, while protecting freedom of expression, and we will continue to work tirelessly towards this goal.”

This development comes against the backdrop of the EU’s Digital Services Act, which has subjected major tech companies to heightened scrutiny, including the possibility of penalties up to 6% of their global revenue or potential bans from the EU. The legislation aims to ensure user safety online and combat the spread of harmful content, whether illegal or in violation of a platform’s terms of service.

Having previously labeled X as the worst online platform for fake news, the EU has urged Elon Musk, who acquired the platform a year ago, to take more decisive actions to address these concerns. The European Commission had previously questioned X’s handling of hate speech, misinformation, and violent terrorist content during the Israel-Hamas war.

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