On Monday, the European Union (EU) formally announced that it would be launching an investigation into X, the platform formally known as Twitter, over alleged violations of laws meant to crack down on free speech.
According to ABC News, the investigation will be the first one of its kind under new regulations passed by the 27-nation European bloc. In a post on X, European Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a statement that “Today we open formal infringement proceedings against @X” under the Digital Services Act.
Back in October, the EU asked X to hand over information regarding any possible efforts to suppress free speech, in the name of combating “hate speech,” “misinformation,” and violence, particularly terrorist-related violence in the midst of the ongoing war in Israel. European Commission spokesman Johannes Bahrke said that the EU’s executive branch “will now investigate X’s systems and policies related to certain suspected infringements,” and claimed that such an investigation will “not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.”
In a statement responding to the announcement, X reiterated that it is “committed to complying with the Digital Services Act, and is cooperating with the regulatory process. It is important that this process remains free of political influence and follows the law.”
“X is focused on creating a safe and inclusive environment for all users on our platform, while protecting freedom of expression, and we will continue to work tirelessly towards this goal,” the company statement continued.
Ever since Twitter was acquired last year by Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla and SpaceX, the platform was heavily revamped in favor of being much friendlier to free speech, as opposed to the censorship that was favored by the overwhelmingly left-wing previous owners. As a result, the rebranded platform has faced greater scrutiny and crackdowns from various government agencies, as well as advertiser boycott campaigns by groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Musk himself pushed back on the investigation, publicly asking in response to Breton’s statement whether or not the EU would be “taking action against other social media.”
“Because if you have those issues with this platform, and none are perfect, the others are much worse,” Musk added.