THE European Union (EU) has warned Elon Musk over alleged disinformation about the Hamas attacks on Israel, including fake news and “repurposed old images”, on X.
This was disclosed in a letter signed by the EU Commissioner, Thierry Breton, regarding the company’s handling of misinformation and its responsibilities under the Digital Services Act, especially amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
This is coming weeks after the EU report which alleged that X (formerly Twitter) had the highest prevalence of misinformation and disinformation.
Breton told Musk that he needed to have “proportionate and effective mitigation measures to tackle the risks to public security and civic discourse stemming from disinformation”.
“Following the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel, we have indications your platform is being used to disseminate illegal content and disinformation in the EU.
“Public media and civil society organisations widely report instances of fake and manipulated images and facts circulating on your platform in the EU, such as repurposed old images of unrelated armed conflicts or military footage that actually originated from video games. This appears to be manifestly false or misleading information,” he said.
Breton noted that the Digital Services Act sets very precise obligations regarding content moderation adding that changes in X’s public interest policies raised questions about his compliance with the new rules.
X opted out of a voluntary code of practice set up by the EU earlier this year to enable social media companies to put in place systems to comply with the new laws. Facebook, Google, TikTok and other companies are participating in the code of practice and are removing disinformation under the new rules.
Responding to Breton via the X app, Musk asked her to list the violations alluded to on X so that the public could see them.
“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 the public can see them. Merci beaucoup,” Musk responded.