EU industry chief Thierry Breton has warned X's Elon Musk and Meta's Mark Zuckerberg about "disinformation" regarding Hamas' attack on Israel, as social media platforms have allegedly seen a rise in false information — such as altered images and mislabeled videos — about the conflict.
In a letter to Musk on Tuesday and to Zuckerberg on Wednesday, Breton gave them each 24 hours to address his concerns and take action to abide by EU laws. He didn't give any specific details on the alleged disinformation he was referring to.
The first casualty of war is truth. Propaganda takes over. Social media provides new possibilities for spreading false and misleading information, outdated and irrelevant videos, and deceptive photos. The Internet is flooded with images and videos from video games purported to be from Ukraine and the Middle East, adding further confusion and deception to an already chaotic moment. The EU has recognized this problem and recently introduced the Digital Services Act (DSA) to protect the public from malicious disinformation. The DSA is needed more than ever.
The European Commission's Digital Services Act requires big tech companies to serve as privatized censors for governments. It comes as part of a larger effort by EU officials to prohibit Russian propaganda and make the rules against hate speech more stringent across the continent. In fact, the DSA is subjugating social media users in the US to the arbitrary moderation practices of foreign governments, which have much weaker free expression protections than those guaranteed by the First Amendment. Who gave the EU the right to decide what we can or cannot say in the US? The DSA will have to go.