Elon Musk's Platform X Fails to Pay Child Abuse Content Fine: What's Next?

Elon Musk's acquisition of the platform formerly known as Twitter, now referred to as X, has been met with significant regulatory challenges.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Elon Musk's Platform X Fails to Pay Child Abuse Content Fine: What's Next?
© Getty Images News/Leon Neal

Elon Musk's acquisition of the platform formerly known as Twitter, now referred to as X, has been met with significant regulatory challenges. Recently, the platform has come under fire for failing to pay a fine related to content depicting child abuse.

This fine, amounting to $610,500, was imposed by Australia's cybersecurity commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, after X failed to respond to inquiries made back in February. The fine's imposition is a part of Australia's leading role in a global initiative aimed at regulating social media platforms.

It's noteworthy that this isn't the first instance where Inman Grant has focused attention on X or Musk. The company was given until the end of October to either pay the fine, request an extension, or seek withdrawal of the fine.

They had requested an extension, which expired last Friday. A spokesperson for Inman Grant informed AFP, "Twitter/X has not paid the infringement notice within the allotted timeframe and eSafety is now considering further steps." The company, as of now, has not responded to requests for comment on this matter.

The Musk Effect and Content Moderation Challenges

Inman Grant, who is also a former employee of Twitter, last month emphasized the need for X to demonstrate "tangible action" in cleaning up the platform. She highlighted the contradiction between the company's public statements about prioritizing the tackling of child exploitation and the apparent lack of substantial action.

"It can't just be empty talk," she stated. Since Musk's takeover, more than 80 percent of X's global workforce, including many content moderators, have been cut. This drastic reduction has raised concerns about the platform's ability to effectively monitor and eliminate abusive content.

Inman Grant pointed out that proactive detection of child exploitation on X dropped from 90 percent to 75 percent in the three months following Musk's takeover. These developments come as Australia continues to spearhead efforts to regulate social media platforms.

The focus on X and Musk by Inman Grant underscores the growing global concern over the management and regulation of social media, especially regarding sensitive and harmful content.

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