The European Union warned Twitter CEO Elon Musk that his social media platform faces a possible ban if it does not follow strict regulations for content moderation.
The Financial Times reported that the threat took place on Wednesday during a video meeting between Musk and EU industry chief Thierry Breton. The edict may lead to a legal standoff between Twitter and European regulatory agencies.
Breton reportedly told Musk that the platform must disregard its “arbitrary” method of reinstating users who ran afoul of the company’s previous leadership. He added what was described as a “checklist” of rules for Twitter to follow.
Failure to do so, Breton warned, puts the company out of step with the EU’s new Digital Services Act (DSA).
Breaking news: The EU has warned Elon Musk that Twitter could be banned in Europe unless the billionaire abides by its strict rules on content moderationhttps://t.co/lbFJfnvrwb pic.twitter.com/w6r3bQmJwv
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) November 30, 2022
This regulates how Big Tech must monitor and censor internet content. Musk was informed that if his company breaches the EU protocol it could face a ban across the continent or major fines.
For his part, Musk previously stated that he considered DSA to be “very sensible” and that, after reading the text, believed it should be the worldwide standard.
The Financial Times reported that the warning apparently came in direct response to Musk’s content moderation philosophy. The entrepreneur stated multiple times that he believes speech should be allowed on the platform if it is legal.
He added that “hate” or “negative” speech will be “deboosted.”
The EU also required that Twitter post clear rules on which users are subjected to being de-platformed. There are particular accounts, such as that of Kanye West, that were reinstated on Twitter but are still prohibited on others such as Facebook and Instagram.
Breton did not stop there as he stated that the platform must follow the EU’s stringent regulations concerning advertising. These measures include banning ads targeting children and those appearing next to users previously banned for offending political or religious beliefs.
The governing body also insisted that Twitter submit to an audit by the summer of 2023. At that point, the social media platform must provide its number of active users, banned accounts, and other required data.