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Musk’s X has a fraction of rivals’ content moderators, EU says

Twitter's new logo is seen projected on the corporate headquarters building in downtown San Francisco, California, U.S. July 23, 2023. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

On Friday, a senior European Commission official stated that Elon Musk’s X social media platform has a much lower number of content moderators than Google (GOOGL.O) and TikTok. The number of content moderators on X is just 2,294, significantly less than Google and TikTok.

The EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) was only recently passed. It mandates that 21 of the most prominent online platforms and two of the most famous online search engines, including Google, X, TikTok, Apple (AAPL.O), Meta Platforms (META.O), and Microsoft (MSFT.O), increase their efforts to combat unlawful and harmful information that is hosted on their respective websites.

Concerns have been raised over X due to Musk’s decision to let go of a large number of staff responsible for monitoring and regulating material amid the spread of disinformation on the platform.

X’s 2,294 EU content moderators contrasted with 16,974 at Google’s YouTube, 7,319 at Google Play, and 6,125 at TikTok, according to data the businesses filed with the EU in September, the senior Commission official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. TikTok had the lowest number of EU content moderators at 6,125.

According to the source, the authorities are hoping that X will feel the need to increase the number of content moderators it employs to keep up with its competitors. “There is an important aspect of the DSA, and that is peer pressure,” according to her.

According to the source, the number of employees responsible for enforcing the DSA has more than quadrupled inside the Commission, going from 50 to 120.

There have been concerns that the EU executive would be unable to cope with the army of executives and attorneys employed by big IT corporations, which would lead to enforcement gaps if this were to occur.

Not just the 19 services designated in April, but beginning on February 17 of the following year, all intermediate service providers must comply with the DSA.

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