Sunday June 16, 2024

Twitter exits EU voluntary code against disinformation

"Heavier regulation" to be implemented on Twitter and other massive social media platforms when new EU rules take effect in August

By Web Desk
May 27, 2023
In this file photo taken on October 28, 2022, the Twitter logo outside their headquarters in San Francisco, California.— AFP
In this file photo taken on October 28, 2022, the Twitter logo outside their headquarters in San Francisco, California.— AFP

Twitter has exited from a voluntary European Union agreement against disinformation spread online, a senior EU official informed late Friday.

"Twitter leaves EU voluntary Code of Practice against disinformation. But obligations remain," said Thierry Breton, EU Internal Market Commissioner, in a tweet on Friday.

"You can run but you can't hide. Beyond voluntary commitments, fighting disinformation will be a legal obligation under #DSA as of August 25. Our teams will be ready for enforcement." he added.

He mentioned the EU's new Digital Services Act which will be effective in less than two months.

Although Twitter has not officially announced its exit from the code, the decision seems to be Twitter CEO, Elon Musk's way to "loosen the reins" after buying the platform for $43 billion last year.

The tech billionaire made many changes — from laying off thousands of jobs to slashing entire departments — to save on costs.

"In an attempt to make Twitter a digital platform where freedom of speech is prioritised, Musk has rolled back previous anti-misinformation rules, and has thrown its verification system into chaos," DW reported.

However, to combat the spread of negativity online, the platform says it "deboosts" and "demonetizes" extremely negative or hateful tweets to hide them unless a user searches for them.

Meanwhile, posts that contain fake news are moderated to include corrections, often from the Twitter community.

"The current EU Code of Practice of Disinformation includes obligations to track political advertising, stop the monetisation of disinformation, and work with fact-checkers," the report explained.

Twitter signed the code in 2018, alongside other social media platforms such as  TikTok, Facebook owner Meta, and Google.

The platforms are obligated by the code to "issue regular reports on their progress in combating disinformation."

Furthermore, the reports published by Brussels in February, showed how online platforms were implementing the code.

However, it also notified that Twitter gave "no specific information and no targeted data" regarding transparency commitments.