EU launches probe into Elon Musk's X platform

· DW

X, formerly Twitter, is suspected of having failed to counter illegal content and disinformation, an EU commissioner said about the infringement proceedings. The EU seeks to tackle big tech firms under new regulations.

The European Union has launched "formal infringement proceedings" against social media firm X, formerly known as Twitter, Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Monday. 

The EU suspects X of failing to counter illegal content and disinformation.

X investigated under Digital Services Act

The EU seeks to tackle big tech companies under new regulations in the Digital Services Act (DSA), which entered into force in November 2022. The proceedings against X mark the first investigation launched under the act.

The DSA requires large online platforms and search engines to implement stronger measures to tackle illegal content and public security risks. The regulations apply to platforms with more than 45 million active users.

For designated companies, fines under the DSA can reach up to 6% of global turnover. A court order could also force the temporary closure of a firm in exceptional circumstances.

"We take any breach of our rules very seriously. And the evidence we currently have is enough to formally open a proceeding against X," said EU Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager.

The Commission said the proceedings against X would focus on countering the spread of illegal content in the EU, examining the effectiveness of measures taken to combat information manipulation, including the " community notes" system and transparency measures.

EU takes on social media platforms

In October, Breton accused the firms, X, TikTok and Meta of not doing enough to counter the spread of disinformation following the Islamist militant group Hamas' attack on Israel.

Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU, the US, Israel, Germany and several other countries.

In September, European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova said that X was the largest source of disinformation in the EU.

sdi/fb (AFP, Reuters, dpa)