Following the announcement that Elon Musk has officially acquired Twitter for $44 billion, an EU regulator was quick to remind Musk that he must follow new rules for stricter enforcement of hate speech and misinformation or face a ban from the EU.
Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market tweeted:
“Be it cars or social media, any company operating in Europe needs to comply with our rules —regardless of their shareholding. Mr. Musk knows this well,”
“He is familiar with European rules on automotive, and will quickly adapt to the Digital Services Act”
Recently, European Union authorities reached an agreement under the Digital Service Act (DSA) to oblige tech companies, including Twitter, to more tightly monitor their platforms for hate speech, misinformation, and other harmful online content for EU users. Failure to comply might result in billions of dollars in fines or a ban from operating in the EU.
The new legislation under the Digital Services Act still needs to be approved by the EU parliament and member states. If granted, it will go into effect 15 months later.
In a Ted Talk earlier this month, Musk explained his reason for buying Twitter, saying:
“Twitter has become the kind of de facto town square. It’s just really important that people have the reality and the perception that they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law.”