EU Commissioner admonishes X and Meta for Gaza Conflict disinformation
Thierry Breton, the EU Commissioner, has sent a warning to both X, commonly known as Twitter, and Meta, urging them not to continue spreading misinformation.
Breton states in a letter that he sent to Mark Zuckerberg that, “following the Hamas terror attacks against Israel,” unlawful content and falsehoods were distributed throughout the EU via “certain platforms.” The EU Commissioner has reminded the head of Meta that they are responsible for adhering to the regulations that are outlined in the Digital Services Act (DSA).
In his letter, Breton does not specify which sites he is referring to; but, given that Meta owns both Facebook and Instagram, it is likely that he is referring to those two networks. Now that he’s at the helm, Zuckerberg is responsible for seeing to it that unlawful content and misleading information are deleted as quickly and thoroughly as possible. While doing so, the platforms ought to collaborate with the relevant law enforcement organisations as well as Europol.
Concerns raised by Breton are not restricted to the current intensification of the conflict in the Middle East. In the letter that he sent to Zuckerberg, he also tackles the disinformation that has been spread about elections. The EU Commissioner states in his letter that he has already discussed the matter in person with Meta’s Chief Executive Officer.
Deepfakes and Elections
Despite the fact that Meta had upped its efforts prior to the recent elections in Slovakia, the EU Commission has received reports of a “significant number” of deepfakes and manipulated content circulating on Meta platforms. These reports concern the recent elections in Slovakia. The DSA mandates that digital enterprises, particularly in regard to elections, take measures to prevent events like this.
Breton now requests an immediate answer from Meta regarding the company’s plans to battle deepfakes, particularly in light of the approaching elections in Poland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Belgium, Croatia, Romania, and Austria, as well as the elections for the European Parliament. Breton points out to Zuckerberg that his company could be subject to fines if it does not fulfil the criteria of the DSA.
Breton has sent a letter to Elon Musk, the CEO of X, threatening him with severe penalties. This letter is almost similar to the one that was sent to Mark Zuckerberg. In it, he highlights concerns that are analogous to those brought up in the previous paragraph regarding the Gaza crisis and misinformation. The letter from Breton does not name any specific examples; nonetheless, there have been several reports in the media regarding content that has been posted on X that purports to reflect aspects of the conflict but is, in fact, either outdated or made up.
August of this year marked the beginning of implementation of the DSA (Digital Services Act) throughout the EU.
Services such as Google Maps, the Play Store, the Apple’s App Store, Zalando, Wikipedia, X/Twitter, Telegram, Facebook, and YouTube are required to take immediate action in any situation where there may be a potential violation of the law. If a service provider does not adhere to the regulations, they risk receiving a fine that is equal to up to 6 percent of their total yearly revenue from all over the world.