Twitter has faced a few issues lately related to its approach to content moderation, which has relaxed since Musk's takeover and emphasis on "free speech." Earlier this week, Twitter CEO Elon Musk said Apple threatened to take Twitter off its App Store over content standards. Later, Elon Musk called the situation a "misunderstanding," which he said had been "resolved." Twitter has said it'll continue "diligent work" to protect the platform from abuse, violence and hateful content. But, it also announced on Tuesday that it was scrapping its COVID misinformation policy. So, Twitter's still walking a fine line when it comes to how it moderates content.
On Wednesday, the EU's commissioner Thierry Breton held a call with Musk where he told the CEO that Twitter needs to deal with its existing issues, including content moderation, tackling disinformation and targeted ads. He said it must "significantly increase" efforts to comply with the EU's new law, the Digital Services Act (DSA). The DSA requires tech firms to maintain a system for preventing things like online abuse and disinformation. If they don't, they could face punishment, including a fine of up to 6% of global turnover or even a ban as a last resort. Twitter's fine under these guidelines could be up to US$500 million.
A readout of the call said the conversation was "constructive," and it seems like Musk agrees with the provisions of the DSA. They made plans to "stress test" Twitter's compliance early next year, as well as set up an independent audit.
"There is still huge work ahead, as Twitter will have to implement transparent user policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech, tackle disinformation with resolve and limit targeted advertising," said EU Commissioner Thierry Breton.
"Our trust & safety team continues its diligent work to keep the platform safe from hateful conduct, abusive behavior, and any violation of Twitter's rules," said Twitter in a blog post.
"I think it's exactly aligned with my thinking," said Twitter CEO Elon Musk to Breton, according to a readout of the call. "I agree with everything you said, really. I think we're very much of the same mind, and I think anything that my companies can do that would be beneficial to Europe, we want to do that."