Can you imagine a future in Europe without Twitter, one of the world’s most popular social media networks? Currently known as X, Elon Musk’s social media could soon be removed from Europe due to the company’s inability to deal with the ongoing regulations. Recently, EU officials wrote to Elon Musk to remind him of his company’s legal obligations regarding to the European Commission’s Digital Service Act. However, a person close to Elon Musk states he would rather block X in the entire region and make the app unavailable for Europeans than comply with the rules. (Source).
X is being used to spread misinformation – Will Elon Musk comply with the EU Digital Services Act?
The latest round involves the recent events in Israel. The theme is a central point for a series of posts with disinformation, and right now, it goes unchallenged on X. For example, the Video game footage is being used as breaking news, and old videos from Syria are being recycled as new one just to get views and start a trend.
X can’t be taken as a trustable news source due to its inability to review content. Other issues are also related to the way users are sharing content in the social media. In some cases, antisemitic hate speech and posts glorifying terrorism can go through the social media totally unnoticed. Moreover, Musk himself has reportedly shared posts from accounts spreading racist content and conspiracy theories.
People familiar with the matter believe that if Musk blocks Europe, the website’s traffic will fall by around 9%. This could be an issue, after all, the network’s daily usage is reportedly already 40% down in some regions since he took over the helm.
What is the European Commission’s Digital Service Act? How Does It Affect Elon Musk’s Social Media
The Digital Services Act significantly improves the mechanisms for the removal of illegal content. It also aims to effective protect users and their fundamental rights online, including the freedom of speech. The primary goal of the DSA is to fooster safer online environments. With the new rules, online platforms must implement ways to prevent and remove posts containing illegal goods, services, or content. At the same time, they need to simultaneously give users the means to report this type of content.
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The DSA went into effect on August 25, 2023 with giants of the tech segment like Google joining and complying with the rules. However, X incorrectly fails in complying with the new rules.
What happens if platforms don’t comply?
Online platforms that don’t comply with the DSA’s rules may see fines of up to 6 percent of their global turnover. With the report pointing that Musk wouldn’t accept such rules, then the company would see fines of up to 6 percent its global turnover. Considering that Twitter’s position is not the most favorable in terms of revenue, these fines could be a issue. It is also worth noting that a platform continually refusing to comply would face a temporary suspension in the EU.
Currently, X keeps working fine on Europe, but the company still needs to take serious actions to comply with the EU DSA. Regulators are sending reminders, but if the misinformation keeps spreading through the platform, the regulators could opt for drastic actions. Right now, there is no official info pointing to X ceasing its operation in Europe. Anyway, the simple report indicates that this is not a remote scenario.