EU Warns Musk: Stop Hate Speech On Twitter Or Platform Will Be Banned
A top European Union (EU) official has warned Elon Musk that Twitter needs to beef up measures to protect users from hate speech, misinformation, and other harmful content to avoid violating new rules that threaten tech giants with big fines or even a ban in the 27-nation bloc, Kelvin Chan reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for digital policy, told the billionaire Tesla CEO that the social media platform will have to significantly increase efforts to comply with the new rules.
Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for digital policy, told the billionaire Tesla CEO that the social media platform will have to significantly increase efforts to comply with the new rules, known as the Digital Services Act, set to take effect next year.
The two held a video call to discuss Twitter’s preparedness for the law, which will require tech companies to better police their platforms for material that, for instance, promotes terrorism, child sexual abuse, hate speech, and commercial scams.
It’s part of a new digital rulebook that has made Europe the global leader in the push to rein in the power of social media companies, potentially setting up a clash with Musk’s vision for a more unfettered Twitter, Fatima Hussein, and Matt O’Brien also reported for AP.
Violations could result in huge fines of up to 6% of a company’s annual global revenue or even a ban on operating in the European Union’s single market. Along with European regulators, Musk risks running afoul of Apple and Google, which power most of the world’s smartphones.
Both have stringent policies against misinformation, hate speech and other misconduct, previously enforced to boot apps like the social media platform Parler from their devices. Apps must also meet certain data security, privacy and performance standards.
Musk tweeted without providing evidence this week that Apple “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.” Apple hasn’t commented but Musk backtracked on his claim Wednesday, saying he met with Apple CEO Tim Cook who “was clear that Apple never considered” removing Twitter.
With this admission, Musk put his foot in his mouth anew, to the delight of critics who have been disgusted at the lies and hype he had been spewing.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also said Wednesday that an investigation into Musk’s $44 billion purchase was not off the table. “I misspoke,” she said at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit on Wednesday, referring to a CBS interview this month where she said there was “no basis” to review the Twitter purchase.
The Treasury secretary oversees the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency committee that investigates the national security risks from foreign investments in American firms. “If there are such risks, it would be appropriate for the Treasury to have a look,” Yellen told The New York Times.
She declined to confirm whether CFIUS is currently investigating Musk’s Twitter purchase. Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is, through his investment company, Twitter’s biggest shareholder after Musk.