EU Threatens to Ban Twitter If Musk Disregards Content-Moderation Rules
The European Union has threatened to ban Twitter if the Elon Musk-owned site fails to comply with a checklist of rules in line with the bloc’s new Digital Services Act, according to a new report.
If Twitter fails to comply with the DSA, which lays out Big Tech’s responsibility to police content online, the company could face a European ban or fines of up to 6 percent of global turnover, the EU commissioner tasked with implementing the bloc’s digital rules told Musk in a video meeting on Wednesday, per the Financial Times.
Commissioner Thierry Breton told Musk he must abandon his “arbitrary” approach to reinstating banned users and provide clear rules on which users risk being banned, the report says. Musk decided to reinstate former president Donald Trump’s account earlier this month. Musk polled users, who voted in favor of allowing Trump back on the platform after he received a lifetime ban from the site over the events of January 6, 2021.
He also reinstated the accounts of Kanye West, who was banned for antisemitic comments, and Andrew Tate, who received a ban for misogynistic content.
While Musk previously said he planned to appoint an “independent moderation council” that would have a say in which banned accounts should be reinstated, he said last week: “A large coalition of political/social activist groups agreed not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of advertising revenue if I agreed to this condition. They broke the deal.”
The EU told Musk the platform must pursue disinformation on the platform “aggressively” and agree to an “extensive independent audit” of the site by next year, which would see the site turn over information about its number of active users and banned accounts.
Musk has previously said he plans to allow all legal speech on the platform and that negative and hateful speech would be “deboosted,” meaning fewer users would see it.
During the video meeting on Wednesday, Musk called the DSA “very sensible” and suggested it should be applied worldwide, according to the report.