Child abuse investigation in Australia: X fined $386,000

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Child abuse investigation in Australia: X fined $386,000. For its failure to cooperate with an investigation into its practices related to preventing child abuse, Elon Musk’s social media platform, X, has been fined A$610,500 (approximately $386,000).

Having been criticized for its content moderation policies and struggling with declining revenue, this financial penalty is a significant blow to the platform.

Due to its refusal to respond to inquiries regarding how it handles reports of child abuse material and the techniques it uses to identify such content, the e-Safety Commission imposed the fine on X, which was previously known as Twitter before Musk rebranded it. Due to its lack of cooperation during the investigation, concerns have been raised about the platform’s commitment to addressing illegal content.

Despite the fine’s small size compared to Musk’s $44 billion payment for the platform in October 2022, it represents a significant blow to X’s reputation. As the platform has significantly reduced content moderation and reinstated many previously banned accounts, advertisers have been scaling back their investments.

In response to the attack on Israel by Hamas, the European Union is investigating X for possible violations of its tech regulations.

Internet companies must provide information about their online safety practices to the Australian e-Safety Commission. Fines can be imposed if you fail to comply with such requests. The regulator may pursue legal action if X refuses to pay the fine.

The regulator found inconsistencies in X’s responses despite Musk’s statement that “removal of child exploitation is priority #1″ after taking the company private. Regarding its efforts to prevent child grooming, the platform said it was “not a service used by large numbers of young people.” As well, X said the available anti-grooming technology wasn’t accurate or capable enough for its use.

Alphabet’s Google also received a warning from the e-Safety Commission for not complying with its request for information regarding the handling of child abuse content. The regulator considered some of Google’s responses “generic.” Announcing its commitment to collaborating on online safety, Google expressed disappointment with the warning.

The noncompliance of X with the regulator’s requests was viewed as more serious, as it failed to answer questions about response times to child abuse reports, efforts to detect abuse in live streams, and staffing levels for content moderation, safety, and public policy.

Following Musk’s takeover, the platform confirmed it had reduced its global workforce by 80% and had no public policy staff in Australia. Because the technology is still in development, X does not employ tools to detect child abuse material in private messages.

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