European Union Initiates Infringement Proceedings Against Elon Musk’s Platform, X, for Violations of the Digital Services Act

European Union Initiates Infringement Proceedings Against Elon Musk’s Platform, X, for Violations of the Digital Services Act


European Union Initiates Infringement Process Against Elon Musk’s Social Network Platform X

The European Union (EU) has commenced an infringement process against Elon Musk’s social network platform, X, for suspected violations of the Digital Services Act (DSA). This investigation is in response to concerns that X may have breached DSA requirements by not adequately combating misinformation and content manipulation, using deceptive user interface design, and potentially failing to fulfill transparency obligations. This marks the first such probe under the DSA, which has been in effect for several months and imposes additional obligations on large companies to shield users from extreme content with penalties and suspensions looming for non-compliance.

Understanding the EU Legal Action Against X

The European Union aims to present a “formal action of infringement” against the social network company “X” (formerly known as Twitter). The impetus for the legal action includes ineffective measures against illegal content and the spread of disinformation. The EU’s Executive Vice President, Margrethe Vestager, has stated: “We will deal with any breaches of EU regulations with all due severity. The evidence we currently hold is sufficient to formally initiate proceedings against X.” Additionally, the EU seeks to regulate such tech giants through the newly effective Digital Markets Act (DMA), which demands that online platforms and search engines implement more robust methods to handle illegal content and public safety risks and ensure their services are free from “manipulative technologies.”

The Context of the EU’s Legal Move

Implemented in August, the DSA requires major online platforms with over 45 million active users to actively combat illegal content and disinformation while balancing freedom of expression considerations. The European Commission has initiated the process based on an analysis of the risk assessment report presented by X, its transparency report published on November 3rd, and X’s responses to a formal request for information.

Weekly Updates: EU Commissioner’s Statements and X’s Platform Scrutiny

Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner, has asserted that, in alignment with the EU’s comprehensive new regulations under the Digital Market Act, larger tech firms will face increasingly rigorous scrutiny. Additionally, the European Commission disclosed that the investigation will focus on the effectiveness of measures to counter the spread of illegal content within the EU, combat information manipulation — particularly the platform’s “community notes” system, and on the steps X has taken to enhance its platform’s transparency.

Musk’s Response to the EU Action

In response to the announcement, X, led by Elon Musk, has stated that it remains committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all platform users while protecting freedom of expression. The company emphasized the significance of remaining free from political influence and adhering to the law.

Expert’s Reaction to EU’s Legal Action

Thierry Breton, EU Digital Commissioner, has been emphatic about the necessity for social networking platforms to comply with the DSA. He highlighted that the EU will be vigilant towards X’s actions and warned that penalties could be imposed following a potential investigation and a finding of non-conformity. The investigation will assess whether X has not done enough to curtail the spread of illegal content, particularly through its “Community Notes” fact-checking function, and whether its measures against the dissemination of illegal content, especially in the context of Hamas terrorist attacks, have been effective.

Conclusion: Implications of the EU Legal Action on X

The European Union’s legal action against X signifies a considerable development in the regulation of social network platforms. The investigation will shed light on X’s compliance with the DSA and its efforts to combat disinformation and illegal content, potentially impacting the platform’s operations within the EU. Elon Musk’s response and expert opinions reflect the ongoing tension between major tech companies and regulatory authorities over online content moderation and transparency.

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