EU launches first formal proceedings under Digital Services Act against X News
EmDee, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
EU launches first formal proceedings under Digital Services Act against X

The European Commission announced Monday that it is commencing formal proceedings against social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) under the landmark European Union (EU) Digital Services Act (DSA). The proceedings against X  are the first to be launched by the EU under the new regulations, which were formally proposed in 2020 and entered into force in November 2022.

Under the DSA, X was one of 17 companies that were designated as a “Very Large Online Platform” (VLOP), which consequentially imposed stringent due diligence obligations that they must comply with within four months under DSA Article 92. VLOP-designated companies are required to conduct yearly assessments of risks that their platforms pose to safety, health, and freedom of expression.

The European Commission stated that the investigation aims to assess whether X was in breach of the regulations after a preliminary investigation was concluded. According to the press release, the investigation included an “analysis of the risk assessment report submitted by X in September, X’s Transparency report, and X’s replies to a formal request for information.”

Recently, X, along with other social media platforms, has been under scrutiny following the Israel-Hamas war. In October, X announced that it was implementing measures to combat misinformation and “illegal content” promoting terrorism as a response to criticisms from the European Commission. Shortly after, the commission issued a formal request for X’s explanations of compliance with the DSA.

The proceedings will focus primarily on the dissemination of illegal content in the EU, the effectiveness of X’s measures to combat misinformation, measures taken to increase transparency and X’s allegedly deceptive design, in particular, the platform’s blue check marks. The commission outlined next steps, which involve gathering further evidence and potential enforcement steps.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, commenting on the proceedings against X, said:

[The] opening of the formal proceedings against X makes it clear that, with the DSA, the time of big online platforms behaving like they are “too big to care” has come to an end. We now have clear rules, ex ante obligations, strong oversight, speedy enforcement, and deterrent sanctions and we will make full use of our toolbox to protect our citizens and democracies.