Twitter Faces Ban With Content Moderation, EU Official Warns Elon Musk

The European Union has threatened Elon Musk’s Twitter with a ban unless the billionaire complies with its strict content moderation rules, setting up a battle for control over the social media’s future, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton made the threat during a video conference with Musk on Wednesday, FT Reportedciting people with knowledge of the conversation.

Breton told Musk that he must comply with a list of rules, including abandoning the “absurd” method of restoring banned users and agreeing to an “independent audit” of the platform next year, according to the report.

Twitter and the EU did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Breton had previously urged Musk to comply with landmark EU laws against online hate speech and misinformation. European Commission Chief Justice Didier Reynders also expressed similar comments.

Reuters reported in October that Elon Musk assured the European Commission that Twitter would continue to comply with Europe’s tougher rules on policing illegal online content now that the social media platform has passed under his ownership.

The assurances from Musk appeared to suggest a more pragmatic attitude from the CEO of electric car maker Tesla, who has expressed his desire to see Twitter have fewer restrictions on the content that can be posted.

In May of this year, EU industry chief Thierry Breton met with Musk in Texas and signed an agreement on EU digital media regulation before Musk bought Twitter.

The previous meeting came weeks after the world’s richest man struck a deal to buy the social media company for $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,40,270 crore) in cash.

In a video with two men posted on Twitter by Breton, an EU official tells Musk to explain the Digital Services Act to Musk. “It fits perfectly with what you think we should do,” Breton told Musk in a tweet that included the hashtag #DSA.

“I think it’s exactly in line with my thinking,” Musk replied.

The two did not elaborate on the new law, which imposes heavy fines on companies if they do not control illegal content. The laws prohibit advertising aimed at children or based on religion, gender, race, and political views, for example.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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