(LifeSiteNews) – The European Union (EU) is demanding that Twitter owner Elon Musk hire more content moderators and fact-checkers in order to comply with an impending European law regulating social media, potentially setting up a showdown over the future of the company.
The Financial Times reported that the EU made the demand in order to comply with its Digital Services Act (DSA), with which internet platforms are expected to be prepared to comply with in September, ahead of its full implementation next year.
“We believe that ensuring sufficient staff is necessary for a platform to respond effectively to the challenges of content moderation, which are particularly complex in the field of hate speech,” the European Commission said. “We expect platforms to ensure the appropriate resources to deliver on their commitments.”
The demand conflicts both with Musk’s financial interests and philosophical vision for the platform, which he purchased last year for $44 billion with the intention of making it more politically neutral and deferential to users’ speech.
After the acquisition, Musk laid off more than half the staff in hopes of reducing costs and increasing profitability, including cutting content moderators and replacing fact-checkers with a user-driven Community Notes feature.
The EU’s demands threaten to force Musk’s Twitter to become something closer to what it was under the previous management, although Reclaim the Net noted that “EU regulators have acknowledged that Community Notes could flag misleading information, the same way Wikipedia editors achieve the same result.”
It is unclear if or how that will factor into the EU’s demands, but Musk expressed optimism in January:
Good meeting with @ThierryBreton regarding EU DSA. The goals of transparency, accountability & accuracy of information are aligned with ours.@CommunityNotes will be transformational for the latter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 31, 2023
Musk has been critical of international officials’ efforts to curtail freedom of speech. Last month, he said that the United Nations (UN) was “more likely to cause, rather than prevent, disinformation.”