The European Commission is demanding Elon Musk's X provide evidence it is complying with the bloc's censorship demands. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)


EC demands proof Musk’s X is complying with censorship rules


The European Commission has demanded Elon Musk’s X provide evidence it is complying with the bloc’s censorship regulations.

In a press release published on May 8, the body stated it had issued the Big Tech platform with a formal “request for information” under the Digital Services Act (DSA) regarding its moderation processes.

In particular, the EC expressed concern that X has reduced its ability to censor users in the wake of US billionaire Musk buying the platform.

“The Commission is requesting X to provide detailed information and internal documents on its content moderation resources in light of its latest Transparency report under the DSA, which revealed that X has curtailed its team of content moderators by almost 20 per cent since the preceding report in October 2023,” it said.

Officials went on to claim that such a reduction had resulted in X reducing its censorship coverage of European Union languages from 11 to 7.

“The Commission is also seeking further details on the risk assessments and mitigation measures linked to the impact of generative AI tools on electoral processes, dissemination of illegal content, and protection of fundamental rights,” the statement added.

X has been given until May 17 to comply with the request to hand over the information related to content moderation resources and generative AI, and May 27 to answer other queries put to it by the EC.

If it fails to meet these deadlines, or is judged to have answered the EC’s questions in a “incorrect, incomplete, or misleading” way, the company could face fines.

Brussels’ request for information comes amid an ongoing inquiry into X’s compliance with the DSA.

The company had earned the ire of EU regulators early on, with Musk’s insistence that the platform would support freedom of speech prompting angry reactions from the EC’s self-styled “digital enforcer” Thierry Breton.

Threats of fines issued by Breton directly to Musk on X have prompted fiery responses from the South African-American businessman, who has previously demanded Breton publicly provide evidence that his company was breaking EU rules.

X is not the only platform currently under fire for potentially being in breach of the DSA.

Brussels is also increasingly targeting Chinese tech giant ByteDance with the legislation, taking aim at its TikTok and TikTok Lite services.

Concerns surrounding potential child protection issues regarding the latter app appear to have enraged lawmakers, ultimately prompting ByteDance to curtail elements of the service within the EU.