German newspaper Die Tageszeitung: “The EU is monitoring Twitter very closely since its takeover [by] Elon Musk.”
The European Union has threatened to shut down Twitter if it fails to comply with its new set of regulations.
“EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, threatens to shut down Twitter if the short messaging service does not comply with the European rules,” the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung reported Saturday.
“The EU is monitoring Twitter very closely since its takeover [by] Elon Musk,” the daily warned.
The EU ruling elites are apparently rattled by Musk’s attempts to allow free speech across the platform. Die Tageszeitung explained:
Musk declared himself a champion of free speech upon his multi-billion dollar takeover of Twitter. But, there are significant legal, political and ideological differences between these ideas in the U.S. and Europe.
“And if the rule-breaking continues, we can shut down the platform in Europe. No one should be under any misconception: we would do it, if it becomes necessary,” EU commissar Breton told the German news agency Funke Media Gruppe.
The warning comes nearly two weeks after Musk disbanded Twitter’s entire Brussels office, which according to news reports, was committed to enforcing the latest round of EU restrictions. “Musk has sacked Twitter’s entire Brussels office—and that’s put him on a collision course with new EU laws,” Fortune magazine warned.
Twitter’s Brussels office apparently disagreed with Musk’s plans to ease censorship on the platform. “Elon Musk has disbanded Twitter’s entire office in Brussels after a row over the policing of the social network’s content in the bloc,” the UK newspaper Telegraph reported in late November.
“The executives were the driving force in getting the company to comply with the EU’s landmark Digital Services act, which came into force last week setting new rules for Big Tech firms to keep users safe online,” the British paper added.
The unelected EU Commissioner Thierry Breton threatens to block Twitter in Europe unless it follows his rules. This is a perfect example of why Brexit was the right decision.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) December 1, 2022
Twitter’s Brussels-based executives may have resigned over Musk’s demand to show up for work and put in longer hours — an apparent affront to their European sensitivities.
The Belgian staff “may have left after new Twitter boss Elon Musk’s ultimatum to commit to “hardcore working culture” and working long hours, or else leave the company with three months’ severance pay,” the French TV channel Euronews reported.
A new law passed by the EU, known as the Digital Services Act, seeks to impose billions of dollars in fines on online platforms that fail to comply with Brussels’ regulations.
“The DSA, which was passed by the European Parliament in July, will demand accountability and transparency from Twitter about decisions the company takes and paves the way for Europe to issue fines of billion[s] of dollars if the company fails to comply,” the tech magazine CNET noted in October.
The European media and political elite are worried that Musk could allow previously-banned conservative influencers back on Twitter. Leading U.S. conservative figures like former president Donald Trump’s return on the platform could galvanize nationalist and anti-establishment movements across Europe.
[Excerpts from German media reports translated by the author]DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.