Twitter could be outlawed in the EU if Elon Musk persists with his free speech measures, according to a top EU official.
The European Union’s Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, is said to have ordered Elon Musk to drop some of his free speech ideas for Twitter or face having the network barred from functioning within the EU.
It comes as Musk continues to push the site in a more tolerant direction, unbanning former President Trump and reversing Twitter’s tough monitoring of COVID-related material.
However, in an apparent attempt to appease global elites, Musk has frequently stated that he has no intention of enabling the platform to be entirely free, assuring leaders that he’ll limit the reach of anything deemed offensive by governments.
According to a Financial Times article on Wednesday, such a commitment is not enough for Breton, who is claimed to have threatened Musk in a meeting that the EU might ban the platform from each of its member states if he fails to not comply with each and every one of the bloc’s demands.
While the EU official later posted on Twitter that he applauded the CEO’s “desire to get Twitter 2.0 ready” to implement EU legislation, the bigwig then linked users to platform competitor Mastodon to view the specific demands he was making of the social media behemoth, which included censoring content, cooperating with so-called “fact-checkers,” and demonetizing the propagation of “disinformation.”
Interestingly, Breton made no mention of guaranteeing people’ internet security when using Twitter, an error that becomes even more problematic given that he pointed his own followers to a platform with “many vulnerabilities and other security flaws,” according to Forbes.
While harsh, Breton’s threat to ban Twitter from the EU if it fails to comply appears to be more bark than bite, with POLITICO noting that the tools to actually see the platform blocked from the bloc will likely not be available until 2024.
Furthermore, while agreements on the regulation of disinformation and hatred are now in existence between several digital firms and the European Union, such agreements are completely voluntary in nature, with Twitter under no duty to follow any criteria put out.
Unfortunately, this is unlikely to deter Elon Musk from caving to Breton’s demands over censorship on the platform, with the multi-billionaire having previously stated that he will do so.
Things do not appear to be different this time, with Musk apparently indicating that he was happy to follow EU law when it came to censorship, as well as noting that the laws were “quite sensible,” and that the bloc’s future law on social media regulation should be applied globally.