The move comes two days after the European Commissioner Thierry Breton wrote to X owner Elon Musk expressing his concern over disinformation on the platform, and asking for a report on the company’s crisis measures.
In response, Mr Musk said: ‘Our policy is that everything is open source and transparent, an approach that I know the EU supports.
‘Please list the violations you allude to on X, so that that [sic] the public can see them.
Yesterday X CEO Linda Yaccarino posted a more comprehensive reply on the platform further addressing the concerns, and said it had taken down ‘hundreds’ of accounts linked to Hamas.
Misinformation and disinformation remain deep-seated and widespread problems for social media companies, not just X. Mr Breton has also written to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, warning the business had 24 hours to provide details of the measures taken to counteract the spread of disinformation on its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
Misinformation – information that is accidentally incorrect or misleading – and disinformation – which is deliberately deceptive – has soared online following the attacks on Israel by Hamas last Saturday.
Posts circulating on X and Facebook include alleged footage of Israeli helicopters being shot down that is in fact from a video game, a rocket attack reportedly on an airport in Tel Aviv that actually occurred in Syria, and a fake account imitating Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi expressing ‘support for the Palestinian cause’ on Instagram.
Following its initial contact, the EU is now requesting X provide information regarding its compliance with the Digital Services Act (DSA) after ‘indications received by the Commission services of the alleged spreading of illegal content and disinformation, in particular the spreading of terrorist and violent content and hate speech’.
X has until October 18 to provide answers to questions related to the ‘activation and functioning of X’s crisis response protocol’, and October 31 for other information.
The Commission can issue fines for ‘incorrect, incomplete or misleading’ information received during the investigation, and failure to reply by X could also result in a financial penalty.
Under the new DSA, X is defined as a ‘very large online platform’, and can be held responsible for content on its platform that is illegal in the EU.