The European Union (EU) has issued a stern warning to Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter/X, over the circulation of disinformation on the platform. This warning comes in light of the ongoing conflict and attacks in Israel and Palestine, where false information has been rapidly spreading. EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, expressed concern about the platform being used to disseminate illegal content and misinformation within the EU.
This is not the first time Twitter/X has faced such concerns. The EU had previously raised alarms regarding disinformation related to the war between Russia and Ukraine, emphasizing the platform’s substantial ratio of mis- or disinformation posts. Breton outlined three primary areas of concern: clarity on content policies and their consistent enforcement, swift action against illegal content, and the establishment of mitigation measures to combat disinformation effectively.
Instances of fake and manipulated images and misinformation circulating on Twitter/X have been widely reported by public media and civil society organizations within the EU. The EU has highlighted the dissemination of misleading information, including repurposed images from unrelated conflicts and video game footage, exacerbating the crisis.
Elon Musk’s response, defending the platform’s open-source approach, has been met with skepticism by EU authorities. Musk questioned the violations alluded to by Breton and called for the public to scrutinize the platform. However, the EU emphasized that there have been numerous reports from users and authorities regarding fake content and glorification of violence on Twitter/X, urging Musk to take concrete action.
Breton extended an offer of assistance from his team to help Twitter/X address the issue. He warned of potential penalties if the matter is not adequately handled. The pressure is now on Twitter/X to take decisive steps to combat misinformation and ensure the platform’s integrity, demonstrating a commitment to tackling this critical issue. The EU’s vigilance in holding social media platforms accountable for the spread of disinformation underscores the importance of fostering a safer and more responsible online environment.