Elon Musk pulled Twitter from the European Union’s (EU) code of practice on disinformation, according to a tweet from Thierry Breton, Europe’s commissioner for internal market.
“Twitter leaves EU voluntary Code of Practice against disinformation. But obligations remain. You can run but you can’t hide,” Breton threatened. “Beyond voluntary commitments, fighting disinformation will be a legal obligation under #DSA as of August 25. Our teams will be ready for enforcement.”
According to Politico, the code of practice on disinformation aims to stop the monetization of disinformation on a platform and track political advertising. Participation has reportedly been voluntary up to this point.
Brenton’s mention of the DSA refers to the Digital Services Act, which is set to take effect later this year. In November, Brenton warned Musk that Twitter would have to make significant changes to comply with the DSA, according to the Associated Press.
The DSA requires social media platforms to police the content of their platforms that is considered hate speech, child sexual abuse, and scams.
In a November meeting with Brenton’s office, Musk said, “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.”
After a meeting with Brenton in January, Musk said, “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,” he added.
Musk has relied on Community Notes as a means to fight disinformation on Twitter. This allows other users to provide context to other tweets that attempt to mislead users.
Musk considers himself a “free speech absolutist,” and bought Twitter in October to free the platform from censorship. He brought back a significant number of accounts that had previously been suspended.
Many accounts were suspended under Covid-19 misinformation guidelines directed by the government, as shown in the Twitter Files.