European Commissioner Thierry Breton has launched an investigation into Elon Musk’s social media platform X (Twitter), citing concerns about its handling of ‘illicit content and disinformation.’
This marks the first significant investigation by the EU into X since the passing of the new law called the “Digital Services Act” last year.
“Today we open formal infringement proceedings against X” under the Digital Services Act, European Commissioner Breton wrote in a post on Monday morning on X.
“The Commission will now investigate X’s systems and policies related to certain suspected infringements,” spokesman Johannes Bahrke told reporters in Brussels, adding, “It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.”
The investigation focuses on whether X neglected to prevent the spread of ‘illegal content’ (in other words, non-approved government narratives) and whether the effectiveness of the Community Notes feature is sufficient to counter “information manipulation.”
The EU hinted at an investigation into X’s business practices as early as October, prompted by concerns arising from the Israel-Gaza conflict. Officials warned of the spread of “terrorist and violent content and hate speech” on the social media platform.
“The time of big online platforms behaving like they are ‘too big to care’ has come to an end,” Breton said.
“We now have clear rules, ex-ante obligations, strong oversight, speedy enforcement, and deterrent sanctions and we will make full use of our toolbox to protect our citizens and democracies,” he added.
X spokesperson Joe Benarroch told Bloomberg by email: “X remains committed to complying with the Digital Services Act, and is cooperating with the regulatory process. It is important that this process remains free of political influence and follows the law.”
Companies found in violation of the Digital Services Act could face fines amounting to 6% of their annual revenue and potentially a ban if a resolution is not reached.
Musk is currently confronting increased weaponization from government agencies on both sides of the Atlantic, with leftist Western politicians expressing despise for the billionaire’s social media platform, which allows users to share narratives not approved by the government.