Twitter: Thierry Breton warns Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, and Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for the internal market, in the Tesla factory in Austin, Texas.

© Thierry Breton/Twitter

Obviously, Thierry Breton and Elon Musk are no longer really “on the same wavelength”. While the two men seemed perfectly aligned last May when the European commissioner in charge of the internal market visited the Tesla factory in Austin, Texas, the tone has changed dramatically. No doubt the former boss of Atos has had very little taste of the chaotic management of the American firm since Musk’s takeover at the end of October, with a major purge in the platform’s workforce and a now empty Brussels office. of any employee.

Faced with this brutal restructuring of Twitter, the European Commission is sounding the alarm. And as often, it is Thierry Breton who sticks to it. During a videoconference interview on Wednesday, November 30, the European Commissioner urged the American multi-billionaire to comply with the rules of the European Union (EU), under penalty of seeing Twitter banned from the European bloc.

A stress test at Twitter headquarters in early 2023

Believing that he “still a lot of work to do”Thierry Breton told Elon Musk that it was imperative “significantly increase efforts” to stay within the nails of European legislation and “significantly strengthen content moderation, protect freedom of expression and resolutely tackle disinformation”. For the moment, the boss of Tesla is far from the mark, with a social network moderation system undermined by a lack of human resources, which has widened further with the massive layoffs.

Faced with concerns about the current management of the social network, Elon Musk and Thierry Breton agreed “that the Commission services will carry out a stress test at Twitter’s headquarters in early 2023, which will allow Twitter to assess its compliance even before the legal deadlines”said the European Commissioner.

The latter refers here to the Digital Services Act (DSA), a text which aims to better regulate the operation of the platforms of technological giants, in particular in terms of disinformation and the fight against online hatred. Entering into force on November 16, before coming into force on February 17, 2024, this new legislation provides for fines of up to 6% of the annual turnover of the companies in question. In the event of a repeat offence, the penalties could be increased, even going as far as banishment from European territory. Elon Musk is now warned in good and due form.

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