The European Commission has opened a formal procedure with the aim of investigate X (formerly known as Twitter) and check whether the platform has violated the Digital Services Act (DSA), in areas such as “risk management, content moderation, dark patterns, advertising transparency and data access for researchers.
In a statement shared, the European Commission alleges that the investigation will be carried out after accusing X, owned by Elon Musk, allow the spread of illegal content and disinformation about the war between Israel and Hamas. In fact, Brussels has already asked the social media company for information on its content moderation and transparency with the aim of verifying whether they comply with the Digital Services Law.
Now, with the information provided, the European Commission will investigate whether X—Twitter—has really breached the DSA by disseminating illegal content. They will also focus on checking the “effectiveness of the measures adopted to combat the manipulation of information on the platform”as well as in X’s measures to “increase transparency” on its social network.
“The evidence we currently have is sufficient to formally open proceedings against X. The Commission will carefully investigate X’s compliance with the DSA, to ensure that European citizens are protected online, as required by the regulation.”
Highlights Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president for a Europe adapted to the digital age
The European Commission, on the other hand, will investigate the possible misleading design of the X interface (Twitter). Particularly related to the blue verification badge that users can include in their profiles when purchasing an X Premium subscription.
X (Twitter) would have breached different articles of the DSA
Now, the European Commission will continue the investigation by requesting additional information from X (Twitter), as well as conducting interviews or inspections of the company. There is, however, no legal deadline to end the investigation. Its duration, in fact, depends on different factors, such as the degree of cooperation of the company.
In the event that the European Commission is correct, X would breach articles 34(1), 34(2) and 35(1), 16(5) and 16(6), 25(1), 39 and 40(12) of the Digital Services Act. These establish that companies are obliged to “implement reasonable, proportionate and effective mitigation measures” against disinformation or illegal content. Also, that companies should not design their online interfaces “in a way that deceives or manipulates” users.
Linda Yaccarino, CEO of Twitter, for her part, stated after the first accusations from the European Commission that X had deleted hundreds of accounts associated with Hamas. At this time, they have not responded to the announcement of the formal investigation.