EU warns Elon Musk that Twitter faces ban over content moderation

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FILE – The Twitter logo is seen on a cell phone, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File) Michael Dwyer/AP

EU warns Elon Musk that Twitter faces ban over content moderation

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The European Union warned Elon Musk on Wednesday that Twitter could be banned from Europe if he fails to abide by a set of rules regarding content moderation of the platform.

Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner, discussed the possibility of a ban with Musk in a video meeting, according to people familiar with the conversation. Breton claimed that if Musk wishes to avoid the ban, he must follow several rules with the platform, which include getting rid of an “arbitrary” approach to reinstating banned users, pursuing disinformation “aggressively,” and agreeing to an “extensive independent audit” of the platform by 2023, according to the Financial Times.

If Musk chooses to disregard the warning, it would break the EU’s Digital Services Act and result in either Twitter being banned across Europe or the platform being fined up to 6% of global turnover. Musk claimed repeatedly during his conversation with Breton that he believes the act is “very sensible” and that he thinks the policy should be applied worldwide, according to people briefed on the conversation.

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The request for Musk to ditch an “arbitrary” approach to reinstating banned accounts comes roughly a week after he wrote on social media that Twitter would be granting “general amnesty” to suspended accounts. The billionaire had asked in a poll on social media whether Twitter should restore affected accounts, with a majority of respondents voting yes.

Breton has also asked Twitter to implement new rules over advertising, specifically banning advertisements that target children. Advertising to users based on their sensitive information, including their political and religious beliefs, should also be banned, Breton said.

Twitter would also need to undergo an independent audit by summer 2023, which would include providing information about the platform and its users, Breton said. This information would include the number of users who are using Twitter and how many of these users are banned.

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The EU’s threat of a Europe-wide ban of Twitter comes only two days after Musk announced that files related to the social media platform’s history of suppressing content would be released soon, stating that “the public deserves to know what really happened.”

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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