EU Waging Censorship War On Elon Musk’s X

The European Union on Monday announced it will launch an investigation into Elon Musk’s X, formerly Twitter, over what it believes are violations of its laws concerning communications.

This is the first instance of the new Digital Services Act (DSA) being wielded by prosecutors in the 27-nation bloc. E.U. Commissioner Thierry Breton posted on X, of course, that the group will now “open formal infringement proceedings against the platform.

The E.U. two months ago asked Musk to turn over details of efforts by the company to suppress free speech. Prosecutors expressed concerns over “hate speech” and “misinformation.”

They expressed specific concerns over postings related to the Israel-Hamas war.

X responded through a statement declaring it remained “committed to complying with the Digital Services Act, and is cooperating with the regulatory process. 

It further stressed that the investigation should not be influenced by politics.

Musk’s acquisition of X in 2022 was immediately followed by a strong shift toward free expression. The previous ownership regime tilted harshly to the left and allowed government actors to influence the suppression of speech it did not favor.

The DSA has only been in effect for one month, and its target is clear. Part of the question it will tackle in this investigation is the effectiveness of X’s “Community Notes” feature.

This allows users to comment on postings to challenge their accuracy and provide context and clarity. This largely replaced massive groups of individuals who would previously comb through user content searching for statements they deemed incorrect or inappropriate. 

Musk raised an important question in a posting directed to Breton. He asked if similar actions are being taken against other major social media platforms.

As he noted, “if you have those issues with this platform, and none are perfect, the others are much worse.”

Indeed, many platforms were inundated with false images and information after the deadly Hamas attack on Israel on Nov. 7. Thus far, only X has been singled out for investigation by the E.U., though others were sent letters reminding them of DSA regulations.

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