BRUSSELS, Belgium (LifeSiteNews) — The European Union is warning newly minted Twitter owner Elon Musk it might move to ban the social media platform from its member countries if Musk doesn’t comply with the bloc’s rules regulating online speech.
EU commissioner Thierry Breton, who leads the implementation of the EU’s digital rules, reportedly told Musk during a Wednesday video meeting that the bloc could ban or fine Twitter if Musk doesn’t agree to combat so-called “disinformation” on the platform, submit to an “extensive independent audit” at year-end, and create a coherent policy for the reinstatement of suspended accounts, the Financial Times reported.
Breaking news: The EU has warned Elon Musk that Twitter could be banned in Europe unless the billionaire abides by its strict rules on content moderationhttps://t.co/lbFJfnvrwb pic.twitter.com/w6r3bQmJwv
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) November 30, 2022
According to the report, Breton told Musk that failure to comply with the rules could put Twitter in breach of the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which the outlet described as “a landmark law that sets the global standard for how Big Tech must police content on the internet.”
Violation of the DSA could result in a ban on Twitter in the EU’s 27 member countries.
Citing “people briefed on the conversation,” the Financial Times reported that Musk, who has made no secret of his plans to expand free speech on Twitter, told Breton “repeatedly” that he thought the EU’s law was “very sensible.”
The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder allegedly said he had read the DSA and believed it ought to “be applied everywhere in the world,” according to the report.
The reported threats from the EU and Musk’s alleged response don’t appear to align with the Twitter owner’s outspoken commitment to fight for free speech on the platform.
Since before his official takeover of the company last month, Musk has repeatedly promised to bring transparency to Twitter, and blasted the platform’s previous ownership for censoring conservative voices and interfering in elections. Last week, Musk said he would go so far as to make his own smartphones if Apple and Google choose not to support Twitter on their devices after Apple allegedly threatened to pull Twitter from its app store.
This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 29, 2022
During an all-hands meeting with Twitter staff in June, Musk had stressed the importance of free speech on the platform, though he explained he wasn’t suggesting that Twitter “flout the law, because we’ll get shut down in that case.”
However, the world’s richest man had drawn criticism from conservatives earlier this month for meeting with a slate of left-leaning identity groups to discuss “how Twitter will continue to combat hate & harassment & enforce its election integrity policies.”