The European Union has announced it is formally investigating the popular social media platform X for potentially violating European rules in its mainstreaming of posts related to the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. EU officials are looking into accusations that X did not do enough to prevent the spread of politically polarized comments and disinformation related to the conflict, in addition to giving hate speech more room to spread than it should have.
In particular, the European Union’s Executive Vice-President Věra Jourová, is holding X’s leadership accountable to abide by the requirements of the European Digital Services Act to ensure that they take effective action and responsibility to prevent and limit online content that violates European values and rights.
At the same time, Jourová has made it abundantly clear that the EU is not seeking to limit users’ freedom of speech, but only to ensure that all platforms are held accountable for their content standards and respectful of international law. If found guilty of misconduct in this case, X could face a large financial penalty and other punitive measures designed to ensure that all digital services uphold EU regulations.
The EU’s formal investigation comes at a time of increasing scrutiny over social media policies in Europe, as countries across the continent recognize the role that online platforms have played in fomenting hate speech and the spread of misinformation. This action against X is the latest in a series of steps taken by the European Union to ensure greater control over digital services and to empower users so they can make informed decisions about the content they consume.
This story serves as a reminder not only to X, but also to all social media platforms, that the European Union is taking steps to ensure digital services are held accountable for their content and respect international and European laws. At the same time, the EU is providing an important reminder to users of online services that European digital regulations are in place to ensure that their rights and values are protected.