The EU’s digital leader is calling on TikTok and X to enhance their efforts in cleaning up their platforms
EU digital chief Vera Jourova has called on both TikTok and social media platform X to intensify their efforts in combatting illegal hate speech. Jourova, who is the European Commission Vice President responsible for the digital economy, held meetings with the executives of these platforms on Tuesday. This comes as the European Union is investigating the actions of major tech companies in removing harmful content. These tech giants have been under increased scrutiny due to a rise in harmful content and disinformation, particularly following the attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7, an organization recognized by the EU as a terrorist group. The EU is also aiming to prevent disinformation from influencing the European Parliament election in June 2024.
According to the European Union’s Digital Services Act, which came into effect a year ago, very large tech platforms and search engines must take more substantial measures to combat harmful and illegal content, or they risk facing fines. TikTok has stated that it has utilized artificial intelligence and a team of over 6,000 moderators to remove millions of posts since the attack by Hamas. They have also dedicated a large team to the removal of violent content associated with children.
Jourova expressed her satisfaction with some improvements made by X but urged TikTok to continue enhancing its efforts against illegal and harmful content, including child abuse. Concerning X, she pointed out the insufficiency of staff proficient in some EU languages to counter disinformation and raised concerns about the high volume of violent and illegal content. X’s head of global affairs, Nick Pickles, noted that violent content proliferated online after the Hamas attack, not only on their platform. Jourova, who has previously met with executives from Meta and YouTube, highlighted the comparatively lower language coverage on X as a potential concern for its preparedness for the EU elections.