The European Commission (EC) opened a probe against Elon Musk’s (pictured) X to assess if the social media company has breached its Digital Services Act (DSA), the first such investigation it has launched since the rules came into force.

EC stated it was looking at whether X has fallen foul of the DSA, which was implemented in November 2022, in areas linked to risk management, content moderation, dark patterns and data access for researchers.

Opening formal proceedings follows a preliminary investigation conducted by the European regulator, which included gathering information from a risk assessment report submitted by the company in September and a transparency report in November.

It also assessed the company’s replies to a formal request for information following the Hamas attacks against Israel in October.

Notably, commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton, sent letters to large social media companies including X, Meta Platforms and TikTok following the attacks to remind them of DSA obligations to tackle harmful and illegal content.

So far, it appears only X has been hit with formal proceedings.

Too big to care
EC explained its probe would focus on areas around X’s compliance with DSA to counter the dissemination of illegal content in the EU, as well as effectiveness of measures taken to combat information manipulation on the platform and steps taken by X to increase transparency of its platform.

The commission added it would continue to gather evidence and could take other enforcement steps such as implementing interim measures and non-compliance penalties.

Breton said opening proceedings against X makes it clear that “the time of big online platforms behaving like they are ‘too big to care’ has come to an end”.

The DSA complements the EC’s Digital Markets Act and focuses primarily on content moderation, user privacy and transparency.

X could be hit with a fine of up to 6 per cent of global turnover if found guilty of breaching the act.