EU chief urges big tech to monitor conflict-related content

3 mins read

Thierry Breton, the EU industry chief, has expressed concerns about the spread of “fake news” on social media platform “X” (formerly twitter) in relation to the recent conflict in the Middle East. Breton called on Elon Musk to take action to address this issue on X.

The European Union (EU) has called on big tech companies to take measures to combat terrorist content on their platforms, particularly in the aftermath of the Hamas attack on Israel. The EU has warned that these companies must promptly remove illegal content or face significant legal penalties. The surge in fake news, including fake images, false videos, and graphic violence related to the Middle East conflict, has raised concerns.

The EU’s executive branch, the European Commission (EC), emphasised that content associated with Hamas that qualifies as terrorist content is illegal and must be removed in accordance with both the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Terrorist Content Online (TCO) Regulation. The EC reminded all social media brands of their legal obligations in the region to prevent the spread of harmful content related to Hamas.

The Digital Services Act (DSA), a recently enacted EU regulation, holds companies responsible for monitoring and removing illegal content such as terrorist content or illegal hate speech. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in fines worth 6% of a company’s annual revenue. Meta, the company behind Facebook, is responsible for monitoring misinformation and illegal content under the DSA, and Breton asked Mark Zuckerberg to respond within 24 hours.

The EU has established a special operations centre staffed with experts, including those fluent in Hebrew and Arabic, to monitor and respond to the evolving situation related to the conflict. Social media platforms have seen a surge in fake news, and the EU is calling on these platforms to take measures to prevent the spread of such content.

In conclusion, the EU is taking steps to ensure that big tech companies comply with regulations designed to combat the spread of illegal content, particularly terrorist content, on their platforms. The EU’s newly enacted Digital Services Act holds these companies accountable, and they face significant penalties for non-compliance. The EU has established a centre to monitor the situation and is urging social media companies to fully comply with EU rules.