Musk’s new Twitter policies helped Russian propaganda - European Commission

Musk’s new Twitter policies helped Russian propaganda - European Commission

Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) has played a major role in enabling Russian propaganda on Ukraine to reach wider audiences than before Moscow unleashed its war, says a study released this week by the European Commission.

That’s according to The Washington Post, Ukrinform reports.

According to the year-long study, despite voluntary commitments to take action against Russian propaganda by the largest social media operators, including Meta, Russian disinformation against Ukraine, thrived.

Allowing the disinformation and hate speech to spread without limits would have violated the Digital Services Act, the EU’s social media law, had it been in force last year, the research stated.

“Over the course of 2022, the audience and reach of Kremlin-aligned social media accounts increased substantially all over Europe. Preliminary analysis suggests that the reach and influence of Kremlin-backed accounts has grown further in the first half of 2023, driven in particular by the dismantling of Twitter’s safety standards,” the EC said.

The EU has taken a far more aggressive regulatory approach to government-backed disinformation than the United States has, reads the report.

The Digital Services Act, which went into effect for the biggest social media companies on August 25, requires them to assess the risk of false information, stop the worst from being boosted by algorithms and subject their performance to auditing.

Separately, European sanctions on Russian state media have prompted YouTube and other platforms to ban the likes of RT, the Russian news outlet formerly known as Russia Today that was once one of the most-followed channels.

Under Musk’s ownership, X has dropped the state-affiliated media labels it had been attaching to RT and other Kremlin-controlled accounts. Propagandists have also paid for the platform’s blue-check verification program to make their posts more prominent.

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