An unelected EU bureaucrat warned Twitter CEO Elon Musk that restoring banned accounts to the social media platform could run afoul of the globalist body’s accords.
EU industry chief Thierry Breton told Musk via video call Wednesday Twitter may face a Europe-wide ban because the “arbitrary” reinstatement of accounts could violate the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA).
“Breton told Musk that Twitter must adhere to a checklist of rules, including ditching an ‘arbitrary’ approach to reinstating banned users, pursuing disinformation ‘aggressively’ and agreeing to an ‘extensive independent audit’ of the platform by next year,” the Financial Times reports, “according to people with knowledge of the conversation.”
Musk reportedly told Breton the DSA was “very sensible” and that it should be replicated globally.
Breton issued a similar threat late last month, responding to Musk’s celebratory tweet saying, “The bird is freed,” by noting, “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules.”
Musk assured Breton Twitter would fully comply with EU policies, telling him at a meeting in May the DSA was “exactly aligned with my thinking.”
A blog post on Twitter Wednesday noted “none of our policies have changed.”
“Our approach to policy enforcement will rely more heavily on de-amplification of violative content: freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.”
TechCrunch noted last month work at Twitter would have to start immediately if they hope to comply with the EU rules.
DSA compliance for a platform like Twitter will likely require a whole team in and of itself. A team that should be starting work ASAP. The comprehensive EU framework for regulating “information society services” and “intermediary services” across the bloc spans 93 articles and 156 recitals — and is due to start applying as soon as next year for larger platforms. (It’s February 17, 2024, for all the rest.)
At the same time, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaking at the New York Times Dealbook Summit in New York Wednesday said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (Cfius) could investigate Musk’s acquisition of Twitter “to the extent that there are international investments there,” after previously saying there was “no basis” to launch an investigation into the company’s purchase.
Following a poll, Musk announced on Thanksgiving Day he would enact a general amnesty the following week for suspended Twitter users who haven’t “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.”
Compliance with numerous countries’ regulatory frameworks could make Musk’s promise to restore free speech on Twitter a dicey proposition.