Elon Musk’s social media platform X has defended itself against European Union accusations that it is failing to combat falsehoods surrounding the conflict in Israel and Gaza.
According to the company’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, the site has “taken action to remove or label tens of thousands of pieces of content” and has banned hundreds of accounts tied to the Gaza militant organization Hamas, which assaulted Israel on Saturday.
She sent the letter on Wednesday to EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton, who had a Twitter spat with Musk on Tuesday after accused the platform of letting “violent and terrorist content” to propagate.
Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, paid $44 billion for the platform, then known as Twitter, last year and generated worldwide outrage by laying off employees, including content moderators, in order to save money.
Breton, the EU’s self-styled “digital enforcer,” requested on Tuesday that Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, whose Meta company includes Facebook and Instagram, clarify their efforts to combat “illegal content and disinformation.”
He cautioned that they must comply with the Digital Service Act (DSA), which provides the EU the authority to pay platforms up to 6% of their global revenue if they fail to combat unlawful content.
Video game footage
Yaccarino’s letter, which the CEO uploaded on her X account, stated that the company has removed posts involving “violent speech, manipulated media, and graphic media.”
Her letter praised the “community notes” mechanism, which allows users to amend or contextualize one other’s statements.
More than 700 messages were added to posts in the first four days after the violence began in Israel, according to Yaccarino, and they were viewed tens of millions of times.
The European Commission confirmed to AFP that it had received the letter and was considering its future measures.
Musk’s leadership since the resumption of Israeli violence has garnered widespread condemnation, including from the European Union.
Musk was forced to withdraw his own post on X endorsing two accounts as trustworthy sources for Israel after several users pointed out that they both had a history of spreading misinformation.
Meanwhile, AFP factcheckers discovered multiple posts on X, Facebook, and TikTok touting a bogus White House document giving $8 billion in military aid to Israel.
Users on numerous platforms have passed off film from other conflicts, or even video games, as footage from Israel or Gaza.
The EU recently assessed X as the worst major platform for illegal internet content, and Musk has withdrawn from a voluntary EU code of practice for combating disinformation.