Elon Musk Faces Scrutiny Over X Platform’s Handling of Hamas Propaganda

Elon Musk Faces Scrutiny Over X Platform’s Handling of Hamas Propaganda

Misleading Content and Disinformation Spreads

The aftermath of a violent rampage by Hamas gunmen in Israel has brought attention to the proliferation of misleading claims and doctored images, focusing on Elon Musk’s X platform, formerly known as Twitter.

This situation has alarmed the European Union (EU) and raises the possibility of substantial fines for the social media giant.

EU Commissioner’s Warning to Elon Musk

On Tuesday, European Union Commissioner Thierry Breton issued a stern warning to Elon Musk regarding the dissemination of ‘illegal content and disinformation’ on X.

The EU is known for its stringent internet regulations, demanding platforms to combat fake content. In his letter, Breton urged the company to respond within 24 hours to allegations of misinformation of a ‘violent and terrorist’ nature.

Musk’s Response and Challenge

Elon Musk challenged Breton’s post on X, asking for a list of violations related to the platform, making the issue public.

In a previous X post, the platform claimed it had removed newly created accounts affiliated with Hamas and took action against tens of thousands of posts for sharing graphic media, violent speech, and hateful conduct.

Challenges in Tracking Deception on X

Changes made under Musk’s ownership have made it more challenging to track the full scale of deception on X.

These alterations have limited the capabilities for social media researchers to monitor fake news sources.

Efforts to Address Misinformation

X has introduced features like Community Notes, allowing users to add context to potentially misleading content.

However, the effectiveness of these notes in correcting false information has been called into question, as some have appeared after misleading narratives were widely viewed.

Misinformation Across Various Platforms

While misinformation about the Israel-Hamas conflict has spread across multiple social media platforms, X has faced particular scrutiny from regulators.

Messaging app Telegram and short-form video app TikTok have also been affected, with the challenge of balancing content moderation and real-time information dissemination being a common issue for social media platforms.

Musk’s Recommendations and Deletions

Elon Musk recommended following two accounts on X for ‘real-time’ updates on the conflict. However, these accounts had previously spread false claims.

The Washington Post reported Musk’s recommendation and its subsequent deletion.

Challenges in Managing Unexpected Events

Social media platforms face difficulties in managing content during unexpected events, such as terrorist attacks, where real-time information sharing can have both positive and negative consequences.

Social Media’s Role in Reporting

Social media platforms play a significant role in reporting and tracking events, including civilian deaths. However, this role requires careful navigation to balance user protection and information dissemination.

Moderation and Technology

Social media platforms employ moderation employees and technology to remove content that violates their rules.

These measures aim to protect users while allowing the sharing of valuable information.

Monitoring and Action by Various Platforms

Several platforms, including YouTube and Snap, have taken measures to monitor content and act against misinformation and content that incites violence in the context of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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