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EU concerned by high disinformation rate on Musk's X platform

30.09.2023 08:01 AM
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EU concerned by high disinformation rate on Musk's X platform
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EU concerned by high disinformation rate on Musk's X platform

European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova warned on Tuesday that the “X” platform (formerly Twitter) contains the highest percentage of misleading information compared to other social networks that were subject to a pilot analysis conducted by the European Union.

The analysis, conducted over a three-month period in Spain, Poland and Slovakia, revealed that X lags significantly in compliance with the EU Code of Practice on anti-disinformation standards.

Twitter was one of dozens of social networking companies that signed the voluntary code of practice when it was launched in 2018.

But after it was acquired by Elon Musk, who changed its name to “X,” the company withdrew from the European code of rules.

Jourova said, "X, formerly Twitter, which is no longer affiliated with the Code of Practice, is the platform with the largest percentage of posts containing false and misleading information."

Her statements came after the 44 companies that are still signed to the Code of Practice, including Meta, which owns Facebook, Google, which owns YouTube, and the Chinese TikTok, submitted their first full reports on compliance with the Code of Practice.

Although voluntary, aspects of the code of practice form the basis of parts of a new EU law known as the Digital Services Act, which came into force last month and threatens hefty fines of up to six percent of global revenues for companies found to have violated it.

Jourova said, "Musk knows that he will not escape accountability by withdrawing from the Code of Practice, as we now have a fully implemented digital services law."

She added, "My message to Twitter is that you must comply with the strict digital services law. We will monitor what you do."

The European Union's battle against disinformation has gained increasing importance with increasing awareness of Russian attempts to change European public opinion in light of the war Moscow is waging against Ukraine.

Brussels seeks to reduce false and misleading information ahead of the European Union elections scheduled for June next year.

Jourova warned of the danger posed by Russia's online tactics, saying, "The Russian state has waged an intellectual war to pollute our information space."

She noted that between January and April, Google closed more than 400 YouTube channels that participated in “influence operations” linked to the Russian state and deleted advertisements from 300 websites linked to Russian propaganda agencies.

Fact-checking operations conducted by TikTok on short video recordings in Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian also led to the deletion of 211 of them.

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