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30 May, 2023 00:36

Twitter threatened with EU ban

The platform has until August 25 to comply with the bloc’s new disinformation law
Twitter threatened with EU ban

Twitter will be banned across the EU if it fails to abide by new disinformation regulations, French Digital Transition and Telecommunications Minister Jean-Noel Barrot said on Monday. The warning comes as the bloc’s Digital Services Act (DSA) is due to fully take effect on August 25. 

“Disinformation is one of the gravest threats weighing on our democracies,” Barrot told France Info radio. “I hope that Twitter complies with the European rules by August 25. Otherwise, it will no longer be welcome in Europe. Twitter, if it repeatedly doesn’t follow our rules, will be banned from the EU.”

The DSA mandates that search engines and large platforms, such as Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok, enact measures to mitigate “disinformation or election manipulation, cyber violence against women, or harms to minors online.” The European Commission can fine offenders up to 6% of annual worldwide turnover.

EU Internal Markets Commissioner Thierry Breton announced last week that Twitter had pulled out of the bloc’s voluntary Code of Practice on Disinformation. 

“But obligations remain. You can run but you can’t hide,” Breton said, adding that DSA’s terms will be “ready for enforcement” when the compliance deadline expires in August. 

Billionaire Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter last year, promised to rid the platform of disinformation and hateful content, but also uphold freedom of speech and offer more transparency. “This platform is hell bent on being the least untrue source of information,” Musk wrote on Twitter in early May.

Earlier this month, Twitter fulfilled a Turkish government request to restrict access to some accounts in the weeks leading up to the presidential and general election in the country. Musk defended the decision by saying he wanted to avoid having Twitter be shut down entirely in Türkiye. 

“We can’t go beyond the laws of a country… If we have a choice of either our people [going] to prison or we comply with the laws, we will comply with the laws,” Musk told the BBC last month.

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