Elon Musk has assured the European Commission that Twitter will continue to abide by tough European rules on illegal online content policing now the social network has passed under his ownership, EU sources said on Monday.
In a previously unreported exchange last week, Musk told Thierry Breton, the EU‘s industry chief, that he planned to comply with the region’s Digital Services Act, which levies hefty fines on companies if they do not control illegal content.
The self-described free speech absolutist agreed to hold a meeting with Breton, a former French finance minister, in the coming weeks, the EU officials told Reuters. The exchange came after Breton took to Twitter to warn Musk about the new European legislation on Friday. “In Europe, the bird will fly by our EU rules,” Breton tweeted on Friday.
The assurances from Musk appeared to suggest a pragmatic attitude from the CEO of electric car maker Tesla, who has previously expressed his desire to see Twitter have fewer limits on content that can be posted.
In May this year, EU industry chief Thierry Breton met Tesla boss Elon Musk in Texas and the two signalled agreement on EU digital media regulation ahead of Musk’s purchase of Twitter.
The previous meeting came weeks after the world’s richest man clinched a deal to buy the social media company for $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,40,270 crore) in cash.
In a video with the two men posted on Twitter by Breton, the EU official tells Musk that he explained the Digital Services Act to Musk. “It fits pretty well with what you think we should do,” Breton tells Musk in a tweet that included the hashtag #DSA.
“I think it’s exactly aligned with my thinking,” Musk responds.
The two did not go into detail on the new law, which levies hefty fines on companies if they do not control illegal content. The rules ban advertising aimed at children or based on religion, gender, race, and political opinions, for example.
© Thomson Reuters 2022