EU warns Musk over digital rules after Twitter deal

AP/Susan Walsh, file
Elon Musk

Thierry Breton, the European Union’s commissioner for the internal market, tweeted Tuesday that Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who just secured a deal to buy Twitter, will have to comply with the commission’s rules on moderation. 

“Be it cars or social media, any company operating in Europe needs to comply with our rules — regardless of their shareholding,” Breton tweeted. “Mr Musk knows this well.”

“He is familiar with European rules on automotive, and will quickly adapt to the Digital Services Act.”

That legislation, which was approved last week, goes after social media companies’ moderation and safety policies.

As Musk secured a $44 million deal to acquire Twitter, he said his goal is to bring free speech to the platform. 

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk wrote Monday.

Breton told The Financial Times Musk needed a “reality check” as he will have to abide by moderation policies in the EU to operate Twitter in Europe. 

“Anyone who wants to benefit from this market will have to fulfil our rules. The board [of Twitter] will have to make sure that if it operates in Europe it will have to fulfil the obligations, including moderation, open algorithms, freedom of speech, transparency in rules, obligations to comply with our own rules for hate speech, revenge porn [and] harassment,” he said. 

 “We welcome everyone. We are open but on our conditions. At least we know what to tell him: ‘Elon, there are rules. You are welcome but these are our rules. It’s not your rules which will apply here.’”

Tags Digital Services Act Elon Musk Elon Musk Elon Musk Twitter takeover EU European Union Free speech Thierry Breton Twitter Twitter Twitter purchase

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