Science

Major online platforms: Elon Musk should not ‘underestimate EU efforts’

As regulators closely monitor Twitter and its compliance with data protection rules, Elon Musk should not underestimate the Commission’s efforts to hold major platforms accountable, European Commissioner for Transparency and Democracy Vera Yurova warned.

Ms Yurova stressed that European digital laws must be respected by all. “They apply to Twitter, regardless of ownership. Mr. Musk should not underestimate our efforts to hold large platforms accountable,” she said.

Also for this reason, Twitter is now under European surveillance. “Regulators are already closely monitoring compliance with applicable data protection regulations, and we will also be able to enforce the Digital Services Act. [Digital Services Act, DSA] later this year,” Ms Yurova said.

The acquisition of Twitter by billionaire Elon Musk and subsequent decisions are attracting the attention of European organizations. Mr. Musk, for example, decided to fire content moderators responsible for discovering potentially illegal or controversial content. In addition, the platform has blocked the accounts of several well-known journalists.

Twitter could be fined 6% of its global revenue if it doesn’t comply with EU rules. However, Ms. Yurova considers the imposition of sanctions a last resort. “Above all, I want them to respect the law and reduce the risks they pose to all their users,” she told EURACTIV in the Czech Republic.

According to EURACTIV Czech Republic, Parliament is also concerned about Mr Musk’s decision, as he invited him to take part in the December meeting. However, there was no response to the invitation, confirmed in the office of the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola.

“We expect Twitter to comply with the regulatory framework in which it operates,” added Jüri Laas of the Office of the President of the Commission.

While Twitter has raised concerns over its recent actions, Commissioner Yurova sees the platform as an important partner in the fight against disinformation and illegal hate speech. “This should not change even after laying off a large number of Twitter employees in Europe,” she explained.

She also clarified that Twitter, under the leadership of Mr. Musk, has reaffirmed its commitment to complying with the Code of Practice against Disinformation. “We will conduct our first evaluation [de la mise en œuvre du code] later in January, which will also be a stress test,” the commissioner concluded.

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