EU Policy. X seeks DSA compliance with auto content check, company says

EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton and X'owner Elon Musk.
EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton and X'owner Elon Musk. Copyright William Philpott/
Copyright William Philpott/
By Cynthia Kroet
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The online platform is subject to an ongoing investigation into content moderation and DSA compliance.

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Reducing content moderators to cover seven of 24 EU languages should not be seen as a sign of non-compliance with the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), the EU policy lead of online platform X told a conference in Brussels today (14 May).

Anna Zizola, who spoke on behalf of X at the European Digital Media Observatory’s conference on disinformation, said that after a thorough assessment, the platform decided to switch to more automation of content moderation.

“This is the result of a lengthy assessment; we have hired more staff in our threat disruption team. This has been misinterpreted to be non-compliant, but it’s not. It has been evaluated by our trust and safety department; it’s more effective to have automated tools than human resources,” Zizola said.

X last week (8 May) received a European Commission request for additional information about its decision to reduce its content moderators by 20% compared to October last year.

The platform removed moderators for Bulgarian, Croatian, Latvian and Polish coverage, leaving language experts for seven EU languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, according to the company’s second transparency report, a document required under the DSA.

The development came amid an ongoing investigation which the Commission started in December 2023 related to X's handling of risk management, content moderation, dark patterns, advertising transparency and data access for researchers under the DSA.

The act, which fully came into force in February, requires platforms with more than 45 million monthly average users in the EU to follow strict rules, such as transparency requirements and the protection of minors online.

Besides the X probe, the Commission has started investigations and preliminary probes into Meta, TikTok and AliExpress.

Code of practice

Zizola, who started with X in October and previously worked at the Commission on anti-radicalisation, said that X has undergone restructuring and is making efforts to cooperate with media researchers ahead of the EU elections in June.

“We are following the election guidelines under the DSA carefully. We have been in contact with the European Parliament to make sure users know how to vote, and we are doing proactive sweeps to protect candidates,” Zizola said.

X started its efforts three months ahead of elections and hired “more people on the election teams”.

Zizola could not say whether X will rejoin the voluntary Code of Practice of Disinformation; a Commission effort with company commitments to counter online disinformation, signed by 34 platforms including Facebook, Google and TikTok.

X left the Code in May 2023, after billionaire Elon Musk became the company's new owner.

“Never say never. We are cooperating with EDMO and with the Digital Services Coordinators under the DSA. We are following the EU election guidelines, this is similar to the Code,” she said.

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