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EU Commission Urges Twitter to Take Responsibilities More Seriously in the Fight Against Disinformation

Twitter has fallen behind other major platforms in the fight against disinformation over the past six months, the European Commission said on Thursday, urging the Elon Musk-run platform to take its responsibilities more seriously ahead of the enforcement of sweeping new regulations in the region.[0]

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, said Twitter’s first report, which was meant to outline the platform’s efforts to implement the EU’s new anti-disinformation charter, was incomplete, lacked data and didn’t give any information on its plans to work with fact checkers.[1]

Vera Jourova, the European Commission's executive vice president for values and transparency, expressed disappointment at Twitter's report which, in her opinion, was lagging behind the others and called for a more dedicated approach to meeting the requirements of the Code in her statement.[2] Platforms have a duty to meet their obligations in light of the fact that Russia is waging a full-scale disinformation campaign.[3]

Commissioner Thierry Breton of the European Union's Internal Market expressed that the disparity in the quality of reports from various companies should not astound anyone.[0] He mentioned that the quality of the project varies significantly based on the resources companies have dedicated to it, without mentioning Twitter by name.[3]

On the same day, Musk posted on Twitter that the European Union's objectives for transparency, accountability, and precision of data are in line with ours.[4]

However, the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton, warned Musk once he purchased Twitter last year that the platform would still have to play by Europe’s rules under the Digital Services Act and urged him to get ready for the new rules.[5]

On Nov. 30, 2022, Breton informed Musk about the great amount of work that Twitter needs to do, such as establishing clear user policies, reinforcing content moderation, protecting freedom of speech, confronting disinformation, and limiting targeted advertising, during their phone call.[4]

Everyone who enrolled in the code, encompassing digital platforms, advert-technology firms, and civil society, consented to undertake steps intended to cut down on false information.[3] Last month, their initial “baseline” reports were submitted, demonstrating their compliance with their pledges.[6]

0. “Twitter Lags Behind Other Tech Giants In Disinformation Fight, EU Warns—As Musk’s Platform Antagonizes Regulators” Forbes, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthart/2023/02/09/twitter-lags-behind-other-tech-giants-in-disinformation-fight-eu-warns-as-musks-platform-antagonizes-regulators/

1. “Twitter Draws EU Ire for Sending Incomplete Disinformation Report” Bloomberg, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-02-09/twitter-twtr-draws-eu-ire-for-sending-incomplete-disinformation-report

2. “Elon Musk’s Twitter fails first EU disinformation test” POLITICO Europe, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.eu/article/elon-musk-twitter-fails-eu-first-disinformation-test-digital-services-act

3. “Europe says Twitter must do more to combat disinformation—and Americans also back the fight” Fortune, 9 Feb. 2023, https://fortune.com/2023/02/09/europe-says-twitter-must-do-more-to-combat-disinformation-and-americans-also-back-the-fight/

4. “EU Complains Elon Musk's Twitter Lacks Appetite for Censorship” The Epoch Times, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.theepochtimes.com/eu-complains-twitter-seems-to-lack-appetite-for-censorship_5045386.html

5. “EU ‘disappointed' in Twitter report on how the company fights disinformation” CNBC, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/09/eu-disappointed-in-twitter-report-on-how-it-fights-disinformation.html

6. “EU calls out Twitter for incomplete disinformation report” The Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/eu-calls-out-twitter-for-incomplete-disinformation-report/2023/02/09/f5f072e8-a876-11ed-b2a3-edb05ee0e313_story.html