The Commission has warned social media giants X (formerly Twitter) and Meta (Facebook, Instagram) of sanctions over the rise of fake news and violent images on their platforms about the Israel-Hamas war.

European Union Internal Market and Digital Policy Commissioner Thierry Breton today gave Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg 24 hours to communicate what steps he will take to address this situation.

“We have become aware of reports of a significant number of deep fakes (including fake news, photos, videos produced by means of artificial intelligence) and falsified content circulating on your platforms, some of which are still appearing online,” he stressed. Breton, in a letter to Zuckerberg, the day after a similar warning to X’s boss, Elon Musk.

This letter was posted by the European commissioner on the social networking site Bluesky, a media rival of X, created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

The warning concerns posts and publications “following Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel and disinformation in the midst of European Union elections,” ahead of parliamentary elections in Poland on Sunday and European elections next spring, Breton said.

The Commissioner reminded the companies of their obligations regarding the supervision of the content of publications and the removal of illegal content arising from the new European legislation on digital services (DSA) which entered into force at the end of August.

“DSA is in place to protect freedom of expression against arbitrary decisions and, at the same time, protect our citizens and our democracies,” Brendon told Bluesky.

“Following the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel, we are witnessing an increase in illegal content and disinformation being spread in the EU through certain platforms. I ask you to be very careful to ensure that the strict rules of the Digital Services Act are followed,” the European official noted.

Yesterday Thierry Breton issued a similar warning against Elon Musk, saying that X, formerly known as Twitter, is being used to spread illegal content and disinformation.

“I am therefore calling on you to urgently ensure that your systems are effective and report the crisis response measures taken to my team,” Breton said in a letter to Musk.

“Please detail the violations you allude to for the public to see,” Musk replied to Breton on X with the European Commissioner replying that he is well aware of reports of fake news content and glorification of violence.

Online content rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) require X and other major online platforms to remove illegal content and take steps to address risks to public safety and civil discourse.

Failure to comply with the DSA can result in EU fines of up to 6% of a company’s global turnover.

At the same time, the German Anti-Discrimination Agency announced that it is stopping using X, due to the “massive” increase in hate comments and misinformation, holding Musk responsible for this.

Also German Digital Services Minister Volker Wiesing today denounced “the increase in anti-Semitic hateful posts” on social media following the Hamas attack on Israel.

“I call on Elon Musk and all platform operators to delete accounts that glorify terror, call for the destruction of Israel and violence against Jews,” he said.