X’s reluctance to remove content has reportedly upset the EU

  • The European Commission’s policing of big tech continues, this time with its sights on X.
  • The Commission is reportedly set to announce its findings in an investigation of X’s reluctance to remove dangerous content from the platform.
  • While the investigation is still ongoing, X could face a fine amounting to up to 6 percent of its revenue.

Since Elon Musk took over at X, the platform has adopted a “freedom of speech not freedom of reach” approach to content moderation. Put simply, content will remain on the platform so long as it doesn’t break any laws. However, Musk has fought tooth and nail to keep content that can be considered dangerous, on the platform.

That may come to hurt the company as the European Union (EU) is reportedly set to issue X with a formal warning for failing to combat dangerous content on the platform.

This comes after an investigation by the European Commission and while it’s yet to be made official, sources close to the matter told Bloomberg that the warning will be announced by Internal Market commissioner Thierry Breton soon.

Should this indeed be the case, X risks incurring fines of up to six percent of its revenue if it doesn’t address the dangerous content the Commission highlights. The content in question appears to stem from the Hamas attack on 7th October, but really, the EU could throw a dart at X and find questionable content.

Last year the Centre for Countering Digital Hate conducted a study and found that antisemitism, racism, neo-Nazism, and white supremacy were flourishing on X and vile content remained on the platform long after it was reported. While X argues that few people see this content thanks to the aforementioned moderation policy, that’s simply not good enough as content not being removed emboldens those posting it and the content gets more extreme.

While the Commission is set to make its findings known before it breaks for Summer, there is no knowing when exactly the announcement will be made. Even then, this is an ongoing process and X will likely respond before a fine is issued.

X is just the latest big tech firm to attract the ire of EU lawmakers. Just this week, the European Commission announced that it believed Meta had breached the Digital Markets Act. This decision was made as a result of Meta charging users to opt out of having their data in that shared with those lloking to buy access to it.

Apple is also being investigated for a potential breach of the same law. Here Apple is being investigated for its poor attempt at implement alternate payment options for developers. Here Apple could face a fine amounting to up to 10 percent of its revenue.

One thing is clear, the EU is taking violations of its digital laws incredibly seriously and no company is immune.


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