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Elon Musk Twitter Inc is facing an investigation from the European Union in a review to ascertain whether it moderated illegal and disinformation content on the Israel-Palestine issue. The inquiry by the EU comes after the lengthy criticism that Twitter suffered overrun by disinformation and illegal content. 

EU Probes Twitter Alleged Violations on Transparency and Disinformation Obligations

The privately owned firm owned by Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk has in recent days faced fierce criticism for nonaction on posts relating to the Israel-Hamas war. The social media company is facing an investigation just after responding to the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) regulation in September via a content moderation report. Twitter Inc also furnished the EU with a transparency report detailing events since November. 

A Monday, December 18 publication by Reuters revealed that Twitter Inc. is the only notable platform targeted by the EU under the DSA Act. 

The publication details that firms contravening the DSA provisions risk incurring huge penalties that would rise to 6% of the annual global turnover. Factoring Twitter’s earnings in 2022 of $4.4 to 5.22 billion implies that the social media company is staring at a possible $300 million penalty. 

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The investigation opened by the EU Commission is the latest action reigniting the heated dispute that Elon Musk and Twitter Inc. battle with regulators. 

The EU industry chief, Theirry Breton, described the probe’s objective as a formal investigation of infringement proceedings. The charges against Twitter relate to an alleged breach of obligations to avert illegal content and disinformation. The probe will ascertain whether Twitter honored its transparency obligations amid the likely deployment of deceptive design in the user interface. 

Musk Vouches for Twitter Moderation Strategies to Dismiss EU’s Allegations

The investigation coincides with a period when Musk has iterated the moderation strategies deployed by Twitter to dismiss the EU’s allegations. The Tesla boss questioned whether the EU was undertaking similar actions against other firms within the social media segment. 

Musk indicated in a Tuesday, December 18 response that Twitter is better off in the issues targeted in the probe, declaring that other platforms faced much worse situations. He dismissed the instance that either social media platform perfectly complies with the DSA provisions. 

Twitter has witnessed several shifts in its business model and functions. The changes have extended to deliver a shift in the general political bias. 

The recent decision to reinstate banned accounts led to million-dollar advertisement earnings as various brands withdrew from promotion campaigns. Musk dismissed the withdrawal, labeling it a nonissue. 

The multiplicity of the alterations involving Musk, EU, and advertising clients have triggered the debate on Twitter’s new direction. The EU’s regulators express concern regarding how Twitter balances exercising open discourse and realizing responsible content management to avert disinformation. 

The inquiry targets the Community Notes feature that Twitter unveiled at the onset of this year. It allows users to flag content they deem misleading while easing fact-checking. The feature usage in fact-checking is deemed insufficient and ineffective in guaranteeing responsible information. 

Community Notes Role in Eradicating Disinformation

Twitter had, via an official post, reiterated its devotion to facilitating free expression and conversations. It clarified that it intervenes only when the content violates the social media company’s rules. It restated that it leans towards offering additional context for users.

Twitter added that it integrates human and technology reviews to detect misleading information. Its accomplishment necessitates partnering with global third-party experts. 

Twitter chief executive Linda Yaccarino responded to such concerns in a previous letter following the October 7 attacks by Hamas. She confirmed that Twitter deleted thousands of tweets.

Yaccarino assured of Twitter’s prompt response to the requests placed by law enforcement globally, including the countries in the EU. 

Yaccarino observed that the Community Notes have a predominant role in eradicating disinformation. The feature is proving a double-edged sword, particularly in promoting the deletion of posts from the Israeli government and White House following false claims.

The EU probe on Twitter affirms its tough regulatory stance to eradicate disinformation via electronic media, privacy invasion, and artificial intelligence fair usage. 

The European Commission recently refined its media policy agreement through the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) to highlight its renewed interest in guaranteeing communication integrity. The EMFA targets protecting editorial independence, media pluralism, and bolstering transparency across the member states. 

The EMFA complements the DSA’s objectives, given its advocacy for journalist protection, public service media standards, and transparency in media ownership. 

The latest development engulfs Twitter in a contest of the very principles it champions. The EU probe into the firm’s practices could translate to cautionary tales involving the complexities of managing free speech. 

Editorial credit: Ralf Liebhold / 

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Michael Scott

By Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a skilled and seasoned news writer with a talent for crafting compelling stories. He is known for his attention to detail, clarity of expression, and ability to engage his readers with his writing.

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