EU launches formal legal action against Elon Musk’s X

The European Union has launched formal legal action against Elon Musk’s social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

The bloc’s representatives have opened “formal infringement proceedings” against the billionaire’s platform, which he purchased in 2022.

A document posted on X by Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, outlines four alleged infractions the EU plans to investigate.

The document follows up on investigations launched in October this year, with an uptick in terrorist and violent content observed following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The infringement proceedings will build on this, with officials investigating illegal content and disinformation, among other potential infractions of the bloc’s regulations.

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Mr Breton’s post included the first page of the document addressed to Twitter International Unlimited Company and planned investigations into X’s compliance with the EU’s Digital Services Act.

The initial alleged infractions include a breach of the platform’s obligations to counter illegal content and disinformation.

The other two, Mr Breton said, include a suspected breach of transparency obligations and a suspected deceptive design of X’s user interface.

Representatives for X – which has 112 million EU users – have denied the platform has infringed any regulations in a statement.

A spokesman said the firm is “cooperating with the regulatory process” and that it is “important that this process remains free of political influence and follows the law”.

The statement added: “X is focused on creating a safe and inclusive environment for all users on our platform while protecting freedom of expression, and we will continue to work tirelessly towards this goal.”

Representatives have previously said the platform removed hundreds of Hamas-affiliated X accounts following the EU’s October investigation, the first under its new tech rules.

The DSA was recently fortified following its introduction in August with a host of new obligations for large tech companies to protect their users.

With formal proceedings now opened, officials will gather evidence and conduct an “in-depth investigation” without a specific legal deadline.

Firms deemed to have broken the rules set out by the DSA face several potentially costly consequences, including sizeable fines and possible suspension of services.

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