The eSafety organization, responsible for online safety in Australia, has ordered a fine of $386,000 against X for failing to answer crucial questions regarding the management of content that exploits children on their platform. In February, eSafety sent letters to Google, TikTok, Twitch, Discord, and X (formerly Twitter) requesting these companies to respond to inquiries and concerns about handling media related to child sexual abuse material (CSAM). eSafety revealed that X provided empty or incomplete responses to some questions and failed to provide information about technologies for detecting and combating child sexual exploitation content in live streams. Additionally, Google was found to be inadequate in its general responses, prompting eSafety to issue an official warning instead of imposing fines, indicating that Google’s shortcomings were not severe.
Last month, X removed an option for users to report politically misleading information. In response, Reset.Australia, a digital research group in Australia, expressed concerns in an open letter to X, suggesting that this move by X may allow inappropriate content to go through an inadequate review process without appropriate labeling or removal.
In December 2022, when Elon Musk took over X/Twitter, he laid off employees from the Trust & Safety team and dissolved the Trust & Safety Council. This group was responsible for advising on various issues, including the effective removal of sexually explicit content involving children. Furthermore, earlier this year, X closed its office in Australia as part of cost-cutting measures.
TLDR: eSafety has fined X $386,000 for its incomplete and inadequate responses to inquiries about managing content that exploits children. Google’s responses were also deemed insufficient, resulting in an official warning. X’s recent removal of the option to report politically misleading information has raised concerns about the inappropriate review process. Additionally, under Elon Musk’s leadership, X/Twitter laid off the Trust & Safety team and disbanded the Trust & Safety Council, while also closing its office in Australia.