Web Stories Friday, March 1

The European Union has opened infringement proceedings against Elon Musk’s social media platform X, previously known as Twitter.

The bloc’s regulator Thierry Breton said Monday that the move is in response to suspected breaches of X’s transparency obligations and its duties to counter illegal content and disinformation. It is also in response to what the EU calls a “deceptive” design of user interface, relating to its so-called blue checks.

In response to a request for comment, X said via email: “Busy now, please check back later.”

The European Commission said it launched the formal infringement proceedings under the Digital Services Act “on the basis of the preliminary investigation conducted so far, including on the basis of an analysis of the risk assessment report submitted by X in September, X’s Transparency report published on 3 November, and X’s replies to a formal request for information, which, among others, concerned the dissemination of illegal content in the context of Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel,” an EU statement said.

The proceedings will focus on X’s compliance with its duties to counter the dissemination of illegal content in the EU, the effectiveness of the social media platform’s steps to combat information manipulation and its measures to increase transparency.

The investigation will also address a suspected “deceptive design” of the X user interface, notably focusing on the platform’s so-called blue checks. X says the blue ticks denote verified accounts that have an active subscription to the X Premium service and meet certain eligibility requirements, such as showing a display name and profile photo, being in active use, and being secure and non-deceptive.

“Your account must have no signs of engaging in platform manipulation and spam” to qualify for the blue tick, X says.

After opening the proceedings, the Commission says it will continue the process of evidence gathering. It notes that the Digital Services Act does not set a legal deadline for bringing formal proceedings to an end.

This breaking news item is being updated.

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