EU Commission launches investigation of Twitter

Is Twitter fulfilling its obligations to censor "societal harms"

The European Union passed the Digital Service Act in July 2022, which limits freedom of speech under the pretext of protecting online consumers from scams and creating a fair environment for trade. On August 25th, 2023, the largest internet “platforms,” such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon, became subject to the DSA.

The DSA also gave regulators a blank check to shut down their political enemies. Any political content they disagree with can be labeled “disinformation” and a cause of “societal harm.”

EU Commissioner for Internal Markets, Thierry Breton, has threatened Elon Musk for months. He has accused Twitter of failing in its obligations to the DSA but publicly refuses to cite a single example. In one message directly to Elon Musk, Breton said that Twitter must prove it complies, not the other way around.

In reality, the DSA is purposefully vague, so it can be used to censor any content they want.

The Hamas surprise attack on Israel was used as a pretext to increase scrutiny of Twitter by the EU. After the October 7th attack, the EU gave Twitter an October 18th deadline to provide information on how it would combat “terrorist propaganda” and other “false content” relating to the Israeli-Gaza War.

Today, the EU announced an official investigation to determine whether Twitter is compliant.

The investigation will focus on four areas:

  • The compliance with the DSA obligations related to countering the dissemination of illegal content in the EU, notably in relation to the risk assessment and mitigation measures adopted by X to counter the dissemination of illegal content in the EU, as well as the functioning of the notice and action mechanism for illegal content in the EU mandated by the DSA, including in light of X’s content moderation resources.
  • The effectiveness of measures taken to combat information manipulation on the platform, notably the effectiveness of X’s so-called ‘Community Notes’ system in the EU and the effectiveness of related policies mitigating risks to civic discourse and electoral processes.
  • The measures taken by X to increase the transparency of its platform. The investigation concerns suspected shortcomings in giving researchers access to X’s publicly accessible data as mandated by Article 40 of the DSA, as well as shortcomings in X’s ads repository.
  • A suspected deceptive design of the user interface, notably in relation to checkmarks linked to certain subscription products, the so-called Blue checks.

A spokesman for the EU stated, “The step that we are taking today does not find X guilty of an infringement or conclude that X has actually infringed the DSA but merely states that we have significant ground to investigate these areas in detail.”

The EU Commission is the executive or enforcement wing of the European Union. They are entirely unelected and chosen behind closed doors in secret negotiations between the elites of each EU member nation. Each country gets one commissioner, and Breton represents France.

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