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YIKES: European Regulators Step in To Demand Elon Hire Moderators, Censor Twitter

Now that Elon has fired most of the useless employees at Twitter and induced a large proportion of the remainder to quit, the powers that be are stepping in to try and force him back on the path of censorship that Jack’s Twitter took and Parag Agrawal’s Twitter maintained.

Particularly the Europeans are furious that Musk might not maintain the censorship regime as it currently exists, with Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, telling Franceinfo in an interview that Elon Musk will have to increase the number of moderators operating in Europe, a region which has been hostile to free speech for a long time now. In Breton’s words:

He is in the process of reducing a certain number of moderators, but he will have to increase them in Europe.”

Ominously, Breton also added that “He [Elon] knows perfectly well what the conditions are for Twitter to continue operating in Europe.

Breton is the same official who tweeted, after Elon finished his buying of Twitter and posted “The bird is freed,” that “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules.

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ZeroHedge, adding more information on what will be required of Musk if Twitter is to continue operating in Europe, reported that:

The EU’s Digital Services Act gives governments power to enforce rules governing how tech companies moderate content and to decide when they must take down illegal content. The DSA specifically will also force companies to moderate content in the languages they operate in, according to Bloomberg.

If Musk doesn’t comply, Twitter will face fines of as much as 6% of annual sales and could even be banned.

Breton said he had proposed establishing a “working relationship” with Musk to discuss Europe’s expectations of the social media platform.

However, while Breton seems self-assured that Elon will play by Europe’s rules and go along with the censorship regime, Politico, in a recent article, indicated that he would be pushing back and posing a challenge to Europe’s anti-free speech regulatory regime. In its words:

Twitter’s unfolding turmoil is precisely the regulatory challenge that Brussels has said it wants to take on. The 27-country bloc has positioned itself — via a flurry of privacy, content and digital competition rules — as the de facto enforcer for the Western world, expanding its digital rulebook beyond the EU’s borders and urging other countries to follow its lead.

[…]Europe’s regulators have the largest collective rulebook to throw at companies suspected of potential breaches. But a lack of willingness to act quickly — combined with the internal confusion engulfing Twitter — has so far hamstrung the bloc’s enforcement role when it comes to holding Musk to Europe’s standards, according to eight EU and national government officials, speaking privately to POLITICO.

Politico also quoted Rebekah Tromble, director of the Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics at George Washington University, as saying:

“This will be a major test for European regulators. If Musk continues to act with intransigence, I think there’s an opportunity for European regulators to move much more quickly than normal. These regulators will certainly be motivated to act.”

So now the ball is in Musk’s court and he’ll have to either step up and fight or give up on his dream of an uncensored Twitter and back down to the regulators.