EU Commission halts advertising on X over concerns of reputational damage

EU Commission halts advertising on X over concerns of reputational damage

By: nikolaj kristensen&
November 20 2023

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EU Commission halts advertising on X over concerns of reputational damage

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The EU Commission has put a temporary stop to its advertising on X due to disinformation concerns. In an internal note, the commission’s Deputy Chief Spokesperson Dana Spinant instructed staff to stop advertisement on X, formerly Twitter, due to “widespread concerns relating to the spread of disinformation,” Politico reported on Friday, November 17, 2023. 

The recommendation to “temporarily suspend advertising on this platform until further notice to avoid risks of reputational damage to the Commission” was prompted by disinformation on the platform, especially in relation to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, Spinant explained in the note. 

The note was sent to all heads of service and directors general, Politico reports

In light of the new law

The decision comes in light of the Digital Services Act, the EU’s content moderation law that came into effect in August. 

In October, the EU Commission took preliminary steps to investigate if X’s handling of problematic content connected to Hamas’ attack on October 7 complied with the Digital Services Act. 

In the note, Spinant warned that buying ads that target user profiles based on sensitive personal data was in breach of the Digital Services Act. “It is essential that our advertising respects scrupulously the spirit and the letter of the rules that we seek to enforce as regulator for very large online platforms,” Spinant wrote.

The Commission services may still communicate through EU-run X accounts as the suspension only concerns paid advertising on the platform. For advertising, the Commission will seek to use other platforms, such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, or digital advertising on websites.

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