Since the militant group’s attack on Israel, Elon Musk’s social media network X has taken down or flagged thousands of pieces of content and erased hundreds of accounts tied to Hamas, according to the CEO of the business formerly known as Twitter.
On Thursday, Linda Yaccarino described X’s efforts to rein in the unlawful content that is proliferating on the site.
She was responding to a request for information this week from a senior member of the European Union on how X is adhering to the stringent new digital laws of the EU amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
In a letter to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, the 27-nation bloc’s digital watchdog, Yaccarino said that “X is proportionately and effectively assessing and addressing identified fake and manipulated content during this constantly evolving and shifting crisis.”
Since the start of the conflict, images and videos of the tragedy have deluged social media, including chilling footage of Hamas gunmen holding scared Israelis captive, along with those from individuals spreading misinformation and misrepresenting films from previous incidents.
A financial incentive to post content that receives the greatest attention is created by the changes Musk has made to the platform since he purchased it last year. Now, accounts that subscribe to X’s blue-check service can get compensated if their postings go viral.
Additionally, the staff at X has been completely eliminated, including its content moderation crew.
These modifications conflict with the EU’s Digital Services Act, which went into effect in August. Under fear of severe fines, it compels social media companies to intensify monitoring of their platforms for illegal content, such as terrorist propaganda or unlawful hate speech.
“There is no place on X for terrorist organizations or violent extremist groups, and we continue to remove such accounts in real time, including proactive efforts,” Yaccarino stated in the letter published on X.
According to Yaccarino, X has taken steps to “remove or label tens of thousands of pieces of content,” noting that there are 700 different Community Notes, a tool that allows users to add their own fact-checks to posts “related to the attacks and unfolding events.”
According to Yaccarino, the platform has been “responding promptly” and in a “diligent and objective manner” to takedown requests from law enforcement authorities worldwide, including more than 80 from EU member states.
Experts claim that since Musk bought Twitter and changed its identity, the platform has not only become unreliable but also actively spreads incorrect information.
An EU-commissioned study also concluded that Twitter is the worst-performing medium for online disinformation. Rival platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook are also dealing with a deluge of unfounded rumors and falsehoods concerning the Middle Eastern conflict, playing the customary game of “whack-a-mole” that breaks out whenever a major event grabs the attention of the entire world.