Musk is considering blocking X in Europe amid EU compliance investigation

Elon Musk has considered the possibility of making X inaccessible in Europe due to concerns about complying with the Digital Services Act (DSA) enacted by the European Commission, according to Business Insider

Musk’s frustration with the requirements of the DSA has grown, as noted by an individual familiar with the company. According to this source, Musk, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion and rebranded it as X, has considered the possibility of either removing the app’s accessibility in the European region or preventing European Union users from accessing it, mirroring Meta’s actions in blocking users from using its new app, Threads.

The Digital Services Act came into effect in August and mandates that large online platforms, including X, establish effective and transparent systems for moderating and removing false, misleading, and harmful information. Given the proliferation of misinformation concerning the Israel-Hamas conflict on X, it’s possible that the platform may already be in violation of the DSA. 

The European Commission, under the leadership of EU commissioner Thierry Breton, has officially launched an investigation into X’s compliance with this new law. If found in violation, X could face fines in the form of “periodic penalty payments” of up to 6% of its global revenue.

Musk has previously considered the notion of significantly reducing the app’s scope. Shortly after acquiring the company, he proposed the idea of restricting X’s operations exclusively to the United States, as reported by two other individuals who are well-acquainted with the company. One of these individuals mentioned that this concept played a role in Musk’s decision to eliminate international teams, resulting in the layoff or dismissal of thousands of employees since his takeover of the company.

According to data from Apptopia, Europe constitutes approximately 9% of X’s global monthly active user base. However, daily usage has notably declined in the last three months, experiencing drops ranging from 10% to 40% across the region. Downloads and user engagement have also dwindled in nearly every country where the app is accessible.

Written by Maya Robertson


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