Media reports say that while the European Commission threatened to ban Twitter unless the platform abides by its content moderation rules, the US said that Washington was reviewing the purchase.
‘There is still huge work ahead’
As per a report by The Financial Times, Thierry Breton, who is the EU’s commissioner for Internal Market, told Musk in a video call that Twitter must adhere to a checklist of rules for digital media regulation in Europe. He also said that “there is still huge work ahead” to bring the platform in line with the rules.
The report says that the rules include “ditching an ‘arbitrary’ approach to reinstating banned users, pursuing disinformation ‘aggressively’ and agreeing to an ‘extensive independent audit’ of the platform by next year.”
The development comes weeks after Breton posted an old video of him and Musk talking wherein the new Twitter owner is seen saying that the EU’s Digital Services Act is “exactly aligned with my thinking…I agree with everything you said, really.” Breton also quoted Musk’s “the bird is freed” tweet and said, “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules.”
The new Digital Services Act dictates how technology companies must moderate content on the internet. If Twitter fails to abide by the rules, it could face a Europe-wide ban or fines of up to 6% of global turnover.
‘Act against Russian propaganda’
Meanwhile, Vera Jourova who is the vice president of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, warned Musk that if the company is not acting against Russian propaganda, then it is supporting Russia-Ukraine war.
“By not acting actively against the propaganda, which means to remove the pieces of propaganda, the disinformation, then you are actively supporting the war. This would be a very tricky and maybe dangerous endeavour or adventure for Mr Musk who wants to be seen as somebody who is helping Ukraine,” Bloomberg quoted Jourova as saying.
US looking into foreign investment in Twitter’s purchase
Citing Treasury secretary Janet Yellen’s comments at a New York Times conference, the report claims that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US looked at transactions involving “foreign investment . . . to see if they create national security risk”.
“We don’t comment on work that’s in progress. But if there are such risks, it would be appropriate for Cfius to have a look,” Yellen was quoted as saying.
It is reported that securities filings show Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia “invested rolled over 35mn shares, or 3.5 per cent of the total shares of the public Twitter, into the new private company as part of Musk’s $44bn buyout.”
Last month, US president Joe Biden said that Musk’s “cooperation” with other countries was “worthy of being looked at” by American authorities.