Illicit Content on Elon Musk’s X Draws E.U. Investigation

Illicit Content on Elon Musk’s X Draws E.U. Investigation

The European Union on Monday announced a formal investigation into X, the social media platform owned by Elon Musk, for failure to counter illicit content and disinformation, a lack of transparency about advertising and “deceptive” design practices.

The inquiry is perhaps the most substantial regulatory consequence to date of X, which has scaled back its content moderation policies since Mr. Musk bough the service, once known as Twitter, last year. The company’s new policies have led to a rise in incendiary content on the platform, according to researchers, causing brands to scale back advertising.

In going after X, the European Union is for the first time using its new authority gained after last year passing a new law, called the Digital Services Act. The policy gives regulators vast new powers to force social media companies to police their platforms for hate speech, misinformation and other divisive content.

The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s executive branch, had signaled its intention to look more closely at X’s business practices. In October, regulators initiated a preliminary investigation into the spread of “terrorist and violent content and hate speech” on X after the start of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Under the Digital Services Act, companies can face fines up to 6 percent of global revenue.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.