LONDON – A hands-off tactic to controlling content at Elon Musk’s Twitter could crash with ambitious new laws in Europe meant to provide protection to the users from hateful speech, disinformation and other harmful materials.
As a “free speech absolutist”, Elon Musk initiated to purchase Twitter for $44 billion with digital campaigners and European Union officials this week. Any focus on free speech is aimed to online safety after the 27-nation alliance determined its status as a global leader in order to leash in the power of tech giants.
Soon, Musk will be confronted with Europe’s Digital Services Act that will require some tech companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook parent Meta to strictly force their platforms or pay fines up to billions.
Several days ago, officials agreed on the landmark legislation, expected to take result by 2024. It’s still uncertain when it could spark the same restrictions anywhere else with the U.S lawmakers to address online privacy, competition, disinformation and more.
That means the reining job in a Musk-led Twitter could enter Europe. This has been signaled by the officials showing that they are ready for that.
According to Cedric O, the France’s digital minister said Musk came with interesting thing that he want to do with Twitter dealing with the obligation to prevent misinformation, online hate and etc. It will be applied no matter what ideology the owner has.
Alexandra Geese, the EU Green Party lawmaker participated in the law negotiation said the free speech idea of Elon Musk that uses no content moderation would not be the large parts of the public discourse population.
In this regards, Twitter gave no comment. Musk tweeted “the extreme antibody reaction from those who fear free speech says it all.” He added that free speech could match the law and his unwillingness to obey censorship is far beyond the law.
The United Kingdom has also an online safety law working to threaten the tech companies’ senior managers with prison if they don’t obey. This way, the online safety law gives the users more power to block anonymous elves. The tech companies should also be proactive to take down any illegal content.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson emphasized that Twitter needs to be responsible and protects the users.
No matter who are going to own Twitter, all of social media platform must have responsibility, said Johnson spokesman Max Blain on Tuesday.
Need Seen For Cleanup
A British lawmaker, Damian Collins, who were the leader of parliamentary committee working on the bill said that Musk need to clean up the digital town square if he insist on making Twitter a free speech anchorage.
According to Collins, Twitter has become a spot where the users are covered by the coordinate armies of accounts that spread division and disinformation, making the users refraining from expressing what they feel due to the hate and abuse they receive.
The laws both in the U.K and EU target to prevent such abuse in terms of illegal content.