EU Says Disinformation Most Active On X, Formerly Twitter


X, formerly Twitter, has been said to have the biggest proportion of disinformation of the six big social networks. That is according to a European Commission study. The study examined over 6,000 unique social media posts across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, X, and YouTube.

“My message for [X] is: you have to comply with the hard law. We’ll be watching what you’re doing,” the EU’s Values and Transparency Commissioner Vera Jourova warned.  The disinformation study which prompted Ms Jourova’s comments covered Spain, Poland and Slovakia; countries at risk of being targeted by disinformation due to elections or proximity to the war in Ukraine. The platform with the largest “ratio of discoverability” of disinformation – meaning the proportion of sensitive content made up of disinformation – was Twitter. YouTube had the lowest, the study suggested.

The study was carried out by TrustLab, a disinformation monitoring start-up, as part of work to support the EU’s code of practice on disinformation. X, then called Twitter, along with many other social networks, signed up to the voluntary code in 2018. But the company withdrew from the code while under Mr Musk’s leadership. X will however be subject to the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) which regulates the conduct of the large tech platforms – the EU intends to turn the voluntary code into a code of conduct under the act.

“Mr Musk knows that he is not off the hook by leaving the code of practice, because now we have the Digital Services Act fully enforced,” Ms Jourova said. Companies that fail to comply with the act could face fines of up to six percent of global turnover.

A point of concern however, is the credibility of the study; considering the fact that the study was carried out by a start-up company with no history of excellent service, neither was there a process reveal. It is easy to come to the conclusion that the establishment of the company could be a sort of witch hunt; that could also affect the establishment of the DSA.

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