The European Commission (EC) has opened an investigation into Elon Musk’s social media platform X related to content moderation.
According to a statement on its website on December 18th, the EC has “opened formal proceedings” against X under the Digital Services Act (DSA). The DSA was passed by Europe and came into effect in August, requiring social media platforms to have effective and transparent content moderation systems in place with the goal of removing misinformation or harmful content.
The investigation will focus on how the social media network spreads illegal content and the moderation mechanisms in place to prevent such content, including the blue verification tick mechanism.
“Opening proceedings against X signals that, with the DSA, the time of big online platforms operating without oversight and responsibility being too big to care is over,” said Thierry Breton, EC commissioner. “We now have clear rules: enhanced duties, strict supervision, swift sanctions when needed. We will make full use of everything at our disposal to protect citizens and democracy.”
According to Business Insider, the EC’s move shows how heavily monitored X is in Europe. The results of the investigation could lead to fines of up to 6% of the platform’s global revenue.
X stated that the platform remains committed to complying with the DSA and cooperating with regulators. “X is focused on creating a safe and inclusive environment for all users while protecting free speech, and we will continue working tirelessly towards that goal,” a X spokesperson said.
In September, Europe had warned that X had the highest proportion of misinformation online, urging billionaire Elon Musk to adhere to the bloc’s laws. “X is currently the platform with the highest amount of notices issued for spreading disinformation,” European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova said on September 26th. “It is followed closely by Facebook by Meta.”
On October 19th, Bloomberg reported that Musk was considering blocking X in Europe in response to some of the EU’s content moderation requirements. However, he later denied this.
Since acquiring Twitter last year, the American billionaire pledged to turn the platform into a “digital town square for the community, where a wide range of views can be debated in a healthy manner.” However, this has raised concerns from activists about the rise in online harassment and misinformation. Musk himself also often mocks and teases other X users.