EU Commission Seeks Information from X Regarding Reduced Content Moderation Resources 

Giuseppe de vita
credit: digitalrightsmonitor

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – The European Commission has requested information from X under the Digital Services Act, focusing on content moderation resources and generative AI tools’ impact. Failure to comply may result in penalties.

The European Commission has sent X a request for information (RFI) under the Digital Services Act (DSA). The request strives to obtain more details on X’s content moderation actions and resources, on the risk assessment performed by X in relation to the implementation of generative AI tools in the EU as well as on other domains covered by the ongoing proceedings.

How Has X’s Content Moderation Changed Since October 2023?

In particular, the European Commission is requesting X to deliver detailed information and internal records on its content moderation resources in light of its new Transparency report under the DSA, which indicated that X has curtailed its team of content moderators by almost 20% since the preceding report in October 2023, decreasing linguistic coverage within the European Union from 11 EU languages to 7. 

The Commission is also pursuing further details on the risk assessments and mitigation measures connected to the impact of generative AI tools on electoral procedures, dissemination of illegal content, and preservation of fundamental rights.

What Breaches of the Digital Services Act Did X Face?

In December 2023, the Commission extended formal proceedings against X to assess whether X may have breached the Digital Services Act (DSA) in areas connected to risk management, content moderation, dark patterns, advertisement transparency and data access for researchers. At that time commission stated that based on the preliminary investigation completed so far, including on the basis of an analysis of the risk review report submitted by X in September, X’s Transparency report issued on 3 November, and X’s responses to a formal request for information, which, among others, involved the dissemination of illegal content in the context of Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel, the Commission had determined to open formal violation proceedings against X under the Digital Services Act.

How Does the Commission Plan to Enforce Compliance?

The demand for information sent now is a further step in a continuous investigation. It builds upon the proof gathering and analysis conducted so far, including concerning X’s Transparency report issued in March 2024 and X’s replies to earlier requests for information, which addressed, among others, mitigation actions for risks linked to generative AI.

When Must X Provide Information to the Commission?

Commission states that X must provide the requested information associated with content moderation resources and generative AI to the Commission by 17 May 2024 and for the remaining queries by 27 May 2024. Under Article 74 (2) of the DSA, the Commission can inflict fines for incorrect, incomplete, or misleading information in reaction to a request for information. In case of failure to respond, the Commission may decide to request the information by decision. In this scenario, failure to answer by the deadline could lead to the imposition of periodic penalty payments.

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Giuseppe De Vita is a journalist at Brussels Morning News, He is covering European politics, Law and Technology news. Lawyer at De Vita & Partners Law Firm specializing in Criminal Law, Military and Space Law, and Cyber Security. In April 2023, he authored the monograph "Governance in Extraterrestrial Space", showcasing his extensive legal expertise. He has acquired vast experience in handling criminal and civil matters, managing litigation before various levels of jurisdiction across the national territory. In 2010, he obtained a Master's degree in Information Technology Law. Additionally, in the same year, he served as a teacher in criminal-IT subjects at the Penitentiary Police School of Portici, providing courses aimed at officials and managers of the Penitentiary Police and the Penitentiary Administration, focusing on IT security. He also serves as a Workplace Safety teacher, conducting training courses at various organizations and educational institutions. Moreover, he is a lecturer on Anti-Corruption and Transparency. The law firm, under his guidance, assists both private and corporate clients in court, accumulating significant experience in criminal and civil disputes over the years. Furthermore, it conducts Risk Management and Compliance, Cyber Resilience, and Cyber Security activities, with a specific focus on privacy protection (EU Regulation 2016/679 - GDPR). Giuseppe frequently publishes articles in legal journals, analyzing various regulatory issues. He has contributed articles to the legal journal Altalex, of which he is also a member of the Scientific Committee.