The EU’s digital rights chief called on the owner of X, formerly Twitter, to take greater control over misinformation currently spreading on the site.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, says it is struggling with a flood of posts sharing graphic media, violent speech and hateful conduct about the Israel-Hamas war.
But it has received widespread criticism, including from a top EU official who questioned the adequacy of the response and gave its billionaire owner Elon Musk a 24-hour ultimatum to comply with the bloc’s Digital Services Act.
Outside watchdog groups said misinformation about the war abounds on the platform, whose workforce — including its content moderation team — was dismantled after Musk bought it last year.
A letter to Musk on Tuesday from European Commissioner Thierry Breton said that the fake and manipulated images being broadcast on originated from.”
“This appears to be clearly false or misleading information”.
EU digital rights chief Breton also warned Musk in the letter, which was posted on Twitter, that officials are flagging “potentially illegal content” that could violate EU laws and blocking it. To remove “you must be timely, diligent and purposeful”. When necessary.
San Francisco-based Ax did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Bratton’s letter.
In a post late on Monday night, X’s security team claimed that it was handling the crisis with all its might.
“Over the past few days, we have seen an increase in daily active users on @X in the conflict zone, as well as over 50 million posts globally focusing on the weekend terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas. “As this is rapidly unfolding, a cross-company leadership group has assessed this moment as a crisis that requires the highest level of response,” it read.
This includes continuing a policy repeatedly endorsed by Musk that helps users evaluate misinformation, causing those posts to include a note of context but not disappear from the platform.
The struggle to identify reliable sources for news about the war was escalated over the weekend by Musk, who on Sunday posted the names of two accounts that he said were used to “follow the war in real time.” Were “good” for.
Atlantic Council analyst Emerson Brooking called one of those accounts “absolutely poisonous.”
Musk later deleted his post.
Brookings posted on Twitter that Musk has enabled fake war reporting by bypassing the Blue Check verification system for trusted accounts and allowing anyone to buy Blue Checks.
Brookings said on Tuesday that “the ground truth in this conflict is much harder to find than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year” and that “Elon Musk bears personal responsibility for it”.
He said Musk’s changes to the That has created unverified rumors, and perverse incentives to make the most probable claims”.
He said, “War is always the center of tragedy and propaganda; Musk has made it worse.”
Furthermore, Brookings said via email, “Musk has repeatedly and knowingly denigrated the idea of objective media, and he has made platform design decisions that undermine such reporting. Now we see the consequences”.
Musk’s drastic changes over the past year included the removal of several people responsible for controlling toxic content and harmful misinformation.
A former member of Twitter’s public policy team said the company is having difficulty taking action on posts that violate its policies because there aren’t enough people to do that job.
“The layoffs are undermining the ability of Twitter’s trust and safety team and affiliated teams like public policy to provide needed support during a critical time of crisis,” said Theodora Skadas, one of the thousands of employees who have lost their jobs in the months since. Have lost the job. After Musk bought the company.
X says it changed a policy over the weekend to enable people to more easily choose whether to see sensitive media without the company actually removing those posts.
“X believes that, while difficult, it is in the public’s interest to understand what is happening in real time,” its statement said.
The company said it was also removing newly created Hamas-affiliated accounts and working with other tech companies to prevent “terrorist content” from being distributed online.
It added that it is “continuously monitoring anti-Semitic speech as part of all our efforts. We have also taken action to remove several hundred accounts attempting to manipulate trending topics”.
Linda Yaccarino, whom Musk named as the top executive at X in May, withdrew from the upcoming three-day tech conference where she was scheduled to speak, citing the need to focus on That’s how the platform is handling the war.
“With a global crisis looming, Linda and her team must fully focus on X platform security,” X told organizers of next week’s WSJ Tech Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, US.