Twitter Draws Ire of EU Officials for Failure to Provide Full Misinformation Report

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Twitter Draws Ire of EU Officials for Failure to Provide Full Misinformation Report


European Union (EU) officials are not happy with Twitter’s failure to present a full report to the bloc regarding its efforts to prevent online disinformation, according to a report by AP on Thursday, Feb. 9.

(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images))
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 2: The Twitter logo is posted on the exterior of Twitter headquarters on October 28, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Elon Musk closed the deal to purchase social media platform Twitter for $44 billion and has already fired several top executives.

EU’s Disinformation Code

It is worth noting that the social media company is a signatory of the EU’s voluntary 2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation, way before Elon Musk became the Chief Twit.

Platforms that have signed under the code include Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta, Google, and TikTok. Ad-tech businesses and civil society organizations took part as well.

The signatories are all obliged to create measures that will combat online disinformation.

They have since published their first baseline reports in January 2023 detailing their measures. They all submitted complete reports except for Twitter.

EU’s executive vice president for values and transparency Vera Jourova expressed her disappointment to find that Twitter’s report “lags behind” other platforms and she expects that the company will eventually show its commitment to the Code.

She noted that Russia is waging a disinformation campaign online and platforms such as Twitter must “live up to their responsibilities.”

EU officials have grown concerned about the spread of disinformation online particularly concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and Russian propaganda in the midst of the Ukraine war.

In 2022,  the code was tightened by linking it to the impending Digital Services Act, which will require Big Tech corporations to adhere to the online regulations or face huge fines.

However, Musk’s changes on Twitter have caused concerns among officials, including ending the app’s policy against COVID-19 misinformation and dissolving its Trust and Safety Council.

The EU disinformation code requires signatories to provide a standardized report detailing data on how many advertising dollars to disinformation actors were blocked, political ads, fake accounts, and the results of fact-checking.

Read also: EU Could End the ‘Apple Tax’ with the Digital Market Act that Could Force the Company to Give Up Its ‘Monopoly’ 

EU Official Calls for Twitter’s Progress

Earlier this month, Musk was informed by an EU official that the bird app must progress in preparations for new rules for misinformation, hate speech, and harmful content.

EU commissioner Thierry Breton had a discussion with Musk through video conference to talk about Twitter’s readiness for the new Digital Services Act regulations.

A transcript of the conversation indicates that Breton assured the billionaire that he is keeping a close eye on the tools and resources that the company is using to address trust and safety issues.

Breton reminded Twitter of its pledge to follow the new EU rules, which is set to begin by September.

“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,” Musk said in a tweet after their discussion.

Related Article: EU Official Warns Elon Musk of Enabling Russian Propaganda on Twitter if He Doesn’t Fight Disinformation 

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