X’s CEO Linda Yaccarino has responded to the EU’s request for details concerning the platform’s response to the dissemination of disinformation during the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Credit: Osmancan Gurdogan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Disinformation on X, previously known as Twitter, has reached new heights amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. The EU has taken notice of the information battle occurring on the platform.

Recently, EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton penned an open letter to Elon Musk via his own X account, expressing concerns about potential legal infractions. Breton’s letter cautioned Musk about X’s inaction against illegal content and disinformation, possibly violating the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA).

Musk responded openly, urging Breton to furnish specific examples of X’s violations of the DSA within the reply thread.

However, X’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, seems to be addressing the issue with greater seriousness. Yaccarino provided a formal response to the EU, outlining the platform’s actions in response to the Israel-Hamas disinformation, which was published by X’s official Global Government Affairs account.

Yaccarino’s letter, while more detailed than Musk’s response, is still lacking in concrete specifics. Yaccarino mentioned assembling a leadership group shortly after the Hamas attack news broke, but did not provide a clear timeline or outcome of this response. She also outlined X’s existing policies regarding sensitive media, manipulated content, hateful groups, speech, and attacks.

Linda Yaccarino at Vox Media's 2023 Code Conference
Linda Yaccarino at Vox Media’s 2023 Code Conference
Credit: Jerod Harris / Stringer

Yaccarino vaguely mentioned the removal of “tens of thousands of pieces of content” and the company’s response to “more than 80 takedown requests” from the EU. She noted that Community Notes, designed to provide additional context to content, have been visible on thousands of posts, generating millions of impressions.

However, the delayed display of Community Notes has been a point of criticism from X users. Yaccarino mentioned X’s efforts to expedite this process, stating that notes typically appear after a median time of five hours, still considered a lengthy duration for misinformation to spread without correction.

Notably, X is the only major platform to withdraw from the EU’s Disinformation Code, signaling its approach to content moderation. The EU is yet to respond regarding the sufficiency of X’s actions or any potential penalties.

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