X (formerly Twitter) declares removal of hundreds of Hamas-affiliated accounts

Given the EU’s DSA taking effect in August this year, social media companies now face hefty fines if they do not curtail illegal content effectively.

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Graphic images, videos, and hashtags about Hamas’ attack on Israel have flooded the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

On 11 October, European Commissioner Thierry Breton, in charge of the Digital Services Act (DSA), warned the owner of the platform, Elon Musk, to comply with the bloc’s rules on content moderation and remove violent content. The platform was given 24 hours to provide a ‘prompt, accurate and complete response to this request’.

The current CEO of X, Linda Yaccarino, announced today that hundreds of Hamas-linked accounts had been removed, and thousands of pieces of content had been labeled or taken down. Yaccarino also highlighted the function of Community Notes, which allows users to flag and add their fact-checks to posts.

Why does it matter?

Since the outburst of the Israel-Hamas conflict, misinformation and disinformation have flooded social media platforms. While other social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok are also grappling with the surge in rumors and falsehood, X is a particularly relevant platform that people turn to for real-time updates on current events. The instant interaction between the EU digital policy enforcers and social media platforms may become increasingly frequent; how each side reacts will determine the success of DSA.