Social Network X Responds to EU's Crackdown on Disinformation

In the age of misinformation, major tech giants find themselves under increased scrutiny.

by Faruk Imamovic
Social Network X Responds to EU's Crackdown on Disinformation
© Getty Images News/Nathan Howard

In the age of misinformation, major tech giants find themselves under increased scrutiny. In recent developments, the European Union (EU) raised alarms about Social Network X, previously known as Twitter, and the spread of potentially illegal content.

This comes in the aftermath of recent tensions between Hamas and Israel, which saw a surge of questionable material emerging online.

A Swift Response to EU Concerns

Linda Yaccarino, the director of X, addressed the concerns promptly.

She confirmed that in the wake of the conflict, tens of thousands of content pieces, ranging from doctored photos to mislabeled video clips, had been either deleted or flagged. This move comes after the EU provided X with a tight 24-hour window to explain its compliance mechanisms.

The EU's fears were not baseless; it had previously expressed concerns about indications that X was potentially a ground for "spreading illegal content and disinformation in Europe." X wasn't the only platform in the spotlight.

Meta, the umbrella organization that owns both Facebook and Instagram, received a similar warning and deadline. The waters remain murky regarding Meta's response. While the EU remains tight-lipped about any feedback from the tech giant, a spokesperson for the European Commission disclosed that they are in active discussions with Meta's compliance units.

Strengthening Internal Measures Yaccarino's communications with the EU revealed that the company has taken stringent measures in these trying times. She highlighted that they have "reallocated resources and refocused internal teams" to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of content.

The CEO reiterated X's dedication, stating, “X is committed to transparency, safety, and the successful implementation of the Digital Services Act (DSA) and will continue to take all appropriate steps to that end”.

This dedication seems evident as Yaccarino also mentioned that X has responded to over 80 EU requests to remove or modify content, providing necessary context where needed. Surprisingly, despite the EU's allegations, Yaccarino affirmed that X had received zero notifications from Europol about any "illegal content".

EU Commissioner Thierry Breton has, nonetheless, emphasized the urgency of the matter, calling on both X and Meta to establish the effectiveness of their countermeasures. The stakes for non-compliance are high. In August, the EU unveiled the Law on Digital Services, mandating large internet platforms to actively monitor and eliminate illegal content.

Platforms that fall short risk investigations, hefty fines, and even potential bans within the EU. As tech giants continue to wield significant influence, the pressure to ensure responsible use grows exponentially.