X removes ‘hundreds’ of Hamas accounts

X removes ‘hundreds’ of Hamas accounts

Social media platform responds to complaints about spread of disinformation

(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

The social media platform X (Twitter) has removed hundreds of Hamas-affiliated accounts and taken action to remove or label tens of thousands of pieces of content since the militant group’s attack on Israel, CEO Linda Yaccarino said on Thursday.

The move came in response to widespread complaints about the spread of disinformation on the platform owned by billionaire Elon Musk, who fired hundreds of content moderators in a cost-cutting move after he took over the company.

The European Union on Wednesday gave Musk a 24-hour ultimatum to tackle the spread of disinformation since the Hamas assault to comply with new EU online content rules.

Thierry Breton, the EU industry chief, said he had indications that X was being used to disseminate illegal content and disinformation in the European Union.

The bloc’s new Digital Services Act (DSA) requires large online platforms, including X and Facebook, to remove illegal content and to take measures to tackle the risks to public security and civic discourse.

X has redistributed resources and refocused internal teams to address the rapidly evolving situation, Yaccarino said, without specifying the changes. She added that the company assembled a leadership group to assess the situation shortly after the attack.

“We wish to reiterate that we welcome further engagement with you and your team, including a meeting, to address any specific questions and look forward to receiving further specifics to which we can respond” Yaccarino said in a letter to Breton, posted on X.

X has responded to more than 80 takedown requests received in the EU within required the timeline and has not received any notices from Europol regarding illegal content on the platform, the letter states.

Breton issued a similar warning to Meta, the owner of Facebook, giving the company 24 hours to inform him of measures taken to counter the spread of disinformation on its platforms following the attack on Israel.

Responding to Breton’s earlier posting on X, Musk said his company’s policy was that everything is open-source and transparent.

“Please list the violations you allude to on X, so that the public can see them,” he said.

Breton said Musk knows there is an issue.

“You are well aware of your users’ — and authorities’— reports on fake content and glorification of violence. Up to you to demonstrate that you walk the talk,” he responded.

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