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Elon Musk opts out of EU’s disinformation code for Twitter

Elon Musk opts out of EU’s disinformation code for Twitter.

According to Musk, “Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world,” shortly after acquiring the company. “That’s our mission.”

Elon Musk opts out of EU's disinformation code for Twitter

Earlier this month, Musk reiterated that Twitter is “hell bent on being the least untrue source of information.”

However, according to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, Twitter just removed itself from the European Union’s voluntary Code of Practice against disinformation, a pact that other social media platforms have already agreed to.

Twitter first entered into the voluntary EU Code back in 2018, However, that code soon won’t be voluntary as it was added to a recently enacted EU law.

The new Code aims to achieve the objectives of the Commission’s Guidance presented in May 2021, by setting a broader range of commitments and measures to counter online disinformation. The Code of Practice on Disinformation is a first-of-its kind tool through which relevant players in the industry agreed – for the first time in 2018 – on self-regulatory standards to fight disinformation.

“You can run but you can’t hide,” tweeted Breton, confirming Twitter’s exit.

The EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which Breton referred to in his tweet, among other things, puts strict rules on 19 “very large online platforms” or VLOPs. Twitter is among one of these 19 platforms, which also includes Google, Microsoft, Tiktok, and Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram.

“Platforms must mitigate against risks such as disinformation or election manipulation, cyber violence against women, or harms to minors online,” reads the official European Commission website regarding the DSA.

Elon Musk opts out of EU’s disinformation code for Twitter

If any of these platforms don’t comply, they face rather large fines as high as 6 percent of their annual global turnover. Noncompliance can also lead to the platform being blocked in the EU. Breton mentioned in his tweet, Twitter has until late August to comply.

Ever since Musk assumed control of Twitter, the platform has witnessed a resurgence of conspiracy theorists and purveyors of disinformation. In response to inquiries about false content on the platform, Musk frequently cites Community Notes—a Twitter feature that allows users to submit and vote on corrections—as his justification. Nevertheless, this hasn’t deterred Musk from disseminating conspiracy theories to his extensive following of over 140 million Twitter users.

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