Friday, July 12, 2024

After X & Meta, EU warns TikTok over Hamas videos

After warning X owner Elon Musk and Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, European Commissioner Thierry Breton has now warned Chinese short-video-making app TikTok about “disinformation” spreading on the platform after Hamas’ attack on Israel.

In a letter to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, Breton urged him to “urgently step up” efforts, and spell out “within the next 24 hours” how it is complying with European law.

He said that the European Commission have “indications that TikTok is being used to disseminate illegal content and disinformation in the EU”, following the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel.

“I therefore invite you to urgently step up your efforts and ensure your systems are effective. Given the urgency, I also expect you to be in contact with the relevant law enforcement authorities and Europol, and ensure that you respond promptly to their requests,” Breton noted.

The letter also mentioned that TikTok needed to be mindful of its popularity with young people.

“TikTok has a particular obligation to protect children and teenagers from violent content and terrorist propaganda as well as death challenges and potentially life-threatening content,” Breton posted on X on Thursday.

Earlier, the EU commissioner warned Musk and Zuckerberg, saying that their social media platforms are being used to disseminate illegal content and disinformation in the EU.

In a letter to Zuckerberg, Breton urged Meta to remove illegal terrorist content and hate speech amid the ongoing war in Israel.

In a statement, a Meta spokesperson said the company has created a “special operations centre with experts, including fluent in Hebrew and Arabic speakers” after the Hamas attacks on Israel.

Responding to the EU’s request, X CEO Linda Yaccarino earlier this week said that the microblogging platform removed hundreds of “Hamas-linked accounts” and “taken action to remove or label tens of thousands of pieces of content” since the attack on Israel.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has formally opened an investigation into Musk-owned X, over an alleged spreading of illegal content and disinformation, in particular the spreading of terrorist and violent content and hate speech in the wake of an ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The Commission said late on Thursday that it has sent a formal request for information to X under the Digital Services Act (DSA).

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