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Social media is awash with information and graphics about the ongoing events in Israel and Gaza. There are concerns about how much of the content posted online is fake. The European Union has just opened an investigation into the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter. The EU says there is an alarming volume of posts containing false information on X. EU officials have expressed concern that X was, "being used to disseminate illegal content and disinformation". X has until the end of next week to answer a series of EU questions about this content. Failure to satisfactorily address these issues could lead the EU to impose a fine on X of up to five per cent of the company's daily global turnover.
The EU probe into X comes under the bloc's Digital Services Act. This was established to monitor how large tech companies deal with the hate speech posted on their platforms, and how they police the Internet. An EU spokesperson advised X to introduce, "proportionate and effective mitigation measures" to identify and delete disinformation. He added: "We have, from qualified sources, reports about potentially illegal content circulating on X, despite flags from relevant authorities." Hundreds of bogus accounts have been flooding the Internet with harmful and inflammatory content. The CEO of X said the site had removed hundreds of these accounts. A social media expert lamented this was, "a drop in the ocean".
Back to the online disinformation lesson.