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  • Voltaire Staff

EU withdraws ads from X over 'hate speech'

European Union flag. Image Courtesy: EU official website

The European Union is stopping its ads on Elon Musk-owned X due to an alleged increase in hate speech and misinformation, an official from the multinational body said.

Johannes Bahrke, a European Commission spokesperson, on Friday alleged there was a surge in hate speech and disinformation across multiple social media platforms.

Bahrke said EU institutions have been advised to halt advertising on platforms, including X, hosting such content.

The European Commission might enforce a hefty fine, over $100 million, if the platform, formerly known as Twitter, violates strict EU rules targeting online cleanup.

The Commission had in October, following a deadly Hamas attack on Israel, sought details from Musk's platform about its efforts to combat "illegal content and disinformation."

The European Commission, under its Digital Services Act, holds the power to fine companies breaching regulations up to 6 per cent of their global revenue.

For Musk's platform, which anticipates $3 billion in revenue this year, according to a report in Reuters, a potential fine could reach $180 million if found in violation.

However, enforcement might get delayed until next year, as the body awaits all 27 EU member states to appoint national 'digital services coordinators' with penalty authority by February 17. Only Italy and Hungary have done so till date.

Since the war broke out between Hamas and Israel, there has been witnessed a surge in antisemitism, Islamophobia, and misinformation on social media.

A post that billionaire Musk made on X found himself in the same castigated club of anti-Semitic enablers. Though he denied the charge of being an anti-Semite – "Nothing could be far from truth," he said -- several major companies like Disney and Paramount withdrew their ads from his platform.

While the European Commission refrained from directly criticising Musk, the White House condemned his post, calling it "unacceptable" and referencing the antisemitic conspiracy theory associated with a previous deadly attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh.


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