1 of 3 | The European Union on Friday requested information from X regarding its efforts to combat disinformation on the platform in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. File Photo by Ismael Mohamad/ UPI | License Photo
Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The European Commission asked social media company X for information under a new EU law as part of an investigation concerning whether the platform is taking down disinformation about the Israeli-Gaza war.
The commission on Thursday gave X, formerly Twitter, until Oct. 18 to provide the information on its "crisis response protocol" in the wake of the conflict and until Oct. 31 to provide updates on its compliance with the Digital Services Act's provisions on illegal content, complaint handling, risk assessment and measures to mitigate the risks identified.
"Following its designation as Very Large Online Platform, X is required to comply with the full set of provisions introduced by the DSA since late August 2023, including the assessment and mitigation of risks related to the dissemination of illegal content, disinformation, gender-based violence, and any negative effects on the exercise of fundamental rights, rights of the child, public security and mental well-being," the commission said.
Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner for the DSA said the formal request for information was the first step in its investigation to determine X's compliance with the newly enacted law after he warned X, Meta and TikTok about the spread of disinformation earlier in the week.
"The DSA is here to protect both freedom of expression and our democracies -- including in times of crisis," Breton said.
Upon receiving the information, the commission said it would review X's actions and could open formal proceedings based on its findings.
In response to the EU's initial warning, X CEO Linda Yaccarino on Wednesday said her company was fully cooperating with the laws of the European Union, and had already removed hundreds of Hamas-affiliated accounts from the platform.
Digital watchdogs in Europe have long complained that X, particularly the business under owner Elon Musk, had not moved fast enough to spike illegal content from its website.