Elon Musk’s social media platform X has issued a strong defense against allegations made by the European Union regarding its handling of disinformation surrounding the recent violence in Israel and Gaza.
In a letter addressed to EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton, X CEO Linda Yaccarino stated that the platform has taken significant steps to combat disinformation, including the removal or labeling of tens of thousands of pieces of content. Furthermore, the platform has permanently removed numerous accounts linked to the Gaza militant organization Hamas, which launched an attack on Israel.
Yaccarino’s letter emphasizes the platform’s commitment to combatting violent speech, manipulated media, and graphic content. She also highlights the effectiveness of X’s “community notes” system, which allows users to provide additional context or corrections to each other’s messages. Over 700 notes were added to posts within the first four days of the violence, reaching millions of viewers.
The European Commission has acknowledged receipt of the letter and is currently deliberating on its next course of action.
Recent criticisms of Musk’s leadership during the Israel violence extend beyond the European Union. Musk faced backlash after recommending two accounts on X as reliable sources for Israel, despite their history of spreading misinformation. Additionally, fact-checkers from AFP discovered several posts on X, Facebook, and TikTok promoting a fake White House document that falsely allocated $8 billion in military assistance to Israel.
Furthermore, various platforms have witnessed users sharing misleading material from unrelated conflicts or even video games, falsely portraying it as footage from Israel or Gaza.
It is worth noting that the EU has recently rated X as the platform with the highest amount of illegal online content among major platforms. Musk has also withdrawn from a voluntary EU code of practice aimed at combating disinformation.