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Elon Musk pulls Twitter from EU Code against disinformation
May 28, 2023

Elon Musk pulls Twitter from EU Code against disinformation

Reading Time: 2 minutes

An EU official warns Twitter that ‘you can run but you can’t hide’ after the move.

‘Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world,’ Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted last November, shortly after acquiring the company. ‘That’s our mission.’

Earlier this month, Musk reiterated that Twitter is ‘hell bent on being the least untrue source of information.’

However, according to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, Twitter just removed itself from the European Union’s voluntary Code of Practice against disinformation, a pact that other social media platforms have already agreed to.

Twitter first entered into the voluntary EU Code back in 2018, as TechCrunch points out. However, that code soon won’t be voluntary as it was added to a recently enacted EU law.

‘You can run but you can’t hide,’ tweeted Breton, confirming Twitter’s exit.

Tweet may have been deleted

‘Beyond voluntary commitments, fighting disinformation will be legal obligation under #DSA as of August 25,’ Breton continued. ‘Our teams will be ready for enforcement.’

The EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which Breton referred to in his tweet, among other things, puts strict rules on 19 ‘very large online platforms’ or VLOPs. Twitter is among one of these 19 platforms, which also includes Google, Microsoft, Tiktok, and Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram.

‘Platforms must mitigate against risks such as disinformation or election manipulation, cyber violence against women, or harms to minors online,’ reads the official European Commission website regarding the DSA.

If any of these platforms don’t comply, they face rather large fines as high as 6 percent of their annual global turnover. Noncompliance can also lead to the platform being blocked in the EU.

Since Musk has taken over Twitter, the platform has opened back up the doors for various conspiracy theorists and disinformation spreaders. When asked about falsehoods on the platform, Musk has often referred to Community Notes, a Twitter feature where users submit corrections to be voted on, as his defense. However, that hasn’t stopped Musk himself from spreading conspiracy theories to his more than 140 million followers on Twitter.

As EU Commissioner Breton mentioned in his tweet, Twitter has until late August to comply.


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