Elon Musk's X could face expulsion from Europe over Israel-Gaza disinformation, EU official says: 'These are not empty threats'

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  • Elon Musk's social media platform could be banned from Europe, an EU official told Insider.

  • The body gave Musk a deadline of 7 p.m. Central European Time on Wednesday to tackle disinformation.

  • "These are not empty threats," MEP Stéphanie Yon-Courtin told Insider.

An EU official has warned that X, the social media platform owned by Elon Musk, could be banned from Europe if it fails to comply with EU rules over disinformation amid the Israel-Gaza conflict.

"These are not empty threats," MEP Stéphanie Yon-Courtin said in a statement sent to Insider.

In a letter signed by Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for the internal market, the EU said on Tuesday that the commission had "indications" the platform was being used to "disseminate illegal content and disinformation in the EU" over Hamas' attacks against Israel.

The EU commissioner gave Musk a deadline at 7 p.m. Central European Time on Wednesday to comply with EU regulations, Yon-Courtin told Insider. Should Musk fail to answer, the social media platform could be sanctioned and even banned, she said.

"Elon Musk must understand that with his platform having more than 350 million users comes higher responsibilities," she said. "There cannot be any illegal content or disinformation circulating within Europe anymore."

Yon-Courtin said the EU is aiming to implement the Digital Services Act rules. "The DSA is the answer to avoiding spreading dangerous content at a time of war. If we do not enforce the law now, then when?" she said.

According to those rules, X could face fines of up to 6% of its revenue or even expulsion. "Being able to access our market comes at a price," Yon-Courtin added.

Breton's letter outlined what Musk needed to do to abide by EU regulations.

This included having "very transparent and clear" content policies, removing illegal content when prompted by the EU, and having anti-disinformation measures in place.

Musk asked Breton on Tuesday in a post on X to "list the violations you allude to on X, so that that the public can see them."

Breton responded to Musk by saying the billionaire was "well aware" of warnings from users and authorities about "fake content and glorification of violence."

Amid the ongoing war between Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian militant group, Hamas, fake news about the conflict, including old videos and manipulated images, have apparently been circulating on X.

Musk, who's been largely fielding criticism for the spread of disinformation in the platform, demanded to see a "list of violations" from the EU on Monday. Meanwhile, X's CEO Linda Yaccinaro has pulled out of speaking arrangements in light of the developing conflict. 

X did not immediately respond to Insider's request for a comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider