BRUSSELS (LifeSiteNews) — The European Union has launched an investigation into Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, citing the spread of “illegal content and disinformation” related to the conflict between Israel and Hamas-controlled Palestine. The news comes after Musk’s company already promised shortly after the attack to “try and prevent terrorist content from being distributed online.”
On Thursday, the Financial Times reported that officials in the EU are demanding that X respond to a formal probe under its Digital Services Act concerning the social media platform’s commitment to censoring certain types of content amid the war.
According to the report, the probe follows hard on the heels of a Tuesday letter from EU commissioner Thierry Breton to Musk in which he raised the alarm about “manifestly false or misleading information” allegedly being spread on X.
“We have, from qualified sources, reports about potentially illegal content circulating on your service despite flags from relevant authorities,” Breton wrote, calling for Musk to implement “mitigation measures” to curb the content.
“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,” the letter read.
In response, Musk explained to Breton that it’s the policy of X that “everything is open source and transparent, an approach that I know the EU supports.”
He asked the EU commissioner to “list the violations you allude to on X, so that that [sic] the public can see them.”
In a terse response, Breton told Musk the billionaire is “well aware of your users’ — and authorities’— reports on fake content and glorification of violence.” He told Musk it’s “[u]p to you to demonstrate that you walk the talk.”
The warnings and threats from the EU came after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, targeting and murdering over 1,000 unarmed civilians, including women, children, and the elderly, as well as hundreds of soldiers. Israeli forces have responded by launching airstrikes against Gaza and planning a ground invasion. The combined death toll from the conflict has surged into the thousands, and thousands more have been injured. Islamic militants have also taken hundreds of hostages, and at least 30 American civilians in Israel have been killed.
On Monday, the Latin Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem offered himself to be exchanged for hostages held by the Islamic Jihadists in Gaza.
On October 9, X’s safety account posted that it had seen an increase in daily active users on @X in the conflict area,” and “more than 50 million posts globally focusing on the weekend’s terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas.”
“As the events continue to unfold rapidly, a cross-company leadership group has assessed this moment as a crisis requiring the highest level of response,” X’s safety account said, going on to list a number of “recent actions” from the platform aimed at “protecting the conversation on X and enforcing our rules as we continue to assess the situation … ”
“Our escalation teams have actioned tens of thousands of posts for sharing graphic media, violent speech, and hateful conduct,” the post added. “X is committed to the safety of our platform and to giving people information as quickly as possible. In the coming days, we will continue to keep our community updated.”
The threats from the EU are the latest in an ongoing push by government and corporate leaders in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe to police content shared online, sparking serious concerns about the preservation of free speech.
X has until the end of the month to respond to the EU’s probe. The EU’s DSA commissioner has also called on TikTok and Facebook to step up censorship of illegal content connected with the conflict.