EU Threatens Musk With Twitter Ban Over Content Moderation
The EU has threatened to ban Twitter in Europe unless new owner Elon Musk adheres to its strict rules on content moderation.
The threat was made by Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner in charge of implementing the bloc’s digital rules, who said during a video meeting with Musk on Wednesday that Twitter must follow a checklist of rules, including ditching his “arbitrary” approach to reinstating banned users, the Financial Times reports, citing people with knowledge of the conversation.
Musk was warned that unless he stuck to those rules Twitter risked infringing the EU’s new Digital Services Act, a landmark law that sets the global standard for how Big Tech must police content on the internet. Breton reiterated that the law meant, if in breach, Twitter could face a Europe-wide ban or fines of up to 6 per cent of global turnover.
Twitter’s owner said repeatedly that he thought that the DSA was “very sensible”, according to people briefed on the conversation, adding that he had read the legislation and thought it should be applied everywhere in the world. -FT
The warning appears to be a direct response to Musk’s approach to content moderation, in which he said he would allow all speech on the platform as long as it was legal, though “negative/hate speech” will be “deboosted,” FT notes.
The EU’s demands also include a requirement that Musk provide clear rules on which users are at risk of being banned. Users such as Kanye West and Andrew Tate, who were unbanned from Twitter – yet remain banned on rival platforms Facebook and Instagram, might be of concern to the EU.
Briton also said Musk should apply strict rules when it comes to advertising, such as those which target children or appear alongside unbanned users who were originally banished for religious or political beliefs.
Further, the EU wants Twitter to commit to an audit by summer 2023, when the company must hand over data on various metrics such as the number of active users and banned accounts.
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