EU Warns X Over Content Moderation Amid Israel-Hamas War

EU Warns X Over Content Moderation Amid Israel-Hamas War


The European Union has expressed concerns about the social media platform X hosting misinformation and illegal content related to the conflict between Hamas and Israel. 

European commissioner, Thierry Breton, who spearheaded the European Union’s content moderation law, the Digital Services Act, addressed an open letter to X’s owner, Elon Musk, highlighting the platform’s obligations regarding content moderation under the DSA.

The Digital Services Act, enacted for large platforms in late August with the aim of creating a safe online environment while protecting fundamental rights, requires social media platforms operating in Europe to address risks associated with illegal content and establish mechanisms for users to flag such posts promptly.

In Tuesday’s letter shared on her X account, Breton expressed doubts about X’s compliance with these obligations, pointing out that Musk’s recent changes to X’s policies have left European users uncertain about the content they encounter on the platform. He called on Musk to be transparent about what content is permitted and to enforce the platform’s policies rigorously. 

He also mentioned reports of potentially illegal content circulating on X, despite being flagged by relevant authorities.

“Public media and civil society organizations 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,” Breton stated. 

He stressed the need for X to implement effective measures to combat disinformation and its potential impact on public security and civic discourse.

Under the DSA, X could face a fine of up to 6% of its revenue if it fails to mitigate the spread of disinformation and regulators determine that violations have occurred.

Musk was given 24 hours to respond to these concerns. In his defense, the serial entrepreneur responded to the letter by asserting that everything on X is open source and transparent. He asked Breton to provide a list of the alleged violations so that the public can see.


However, Breton emphasized that Musk had knowledge of fake content and the glorification of violence on his social media platform, challenging him to demonstrate his commitment to compliance with the DSA.


The letter to Musk comes amid criticism of X for hosting posts containing false information about the Israel-Hamas conflict, which has resulted in casualties on both sides. 

Breton also issued a similar notice to Meta co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, regarding illegal content and disinformation related to the conflict.

The letter addressed the Zuckerberg reads: “Firstly, following the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel, we are seeing a surge of illegal content and disinformation being disseminated in the EU via certain platforms. I would ask you to be very vigilant to ensure strict compliance with the DSA rules on terms of service, on the requirements of timely, diligent, and objective action following notices of illegal content in the EU, and on the need for proportionate and effective mitigation measures.”