Twitter chose “confrontation” by deciding to leave the EU’s code of practice against online disinformation, European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova said on Monday. The Commission announced ten days ago that the American social network controlled by Elon Musk was withdrawing from this voluntary code launched in 2018, which contains around forty commitments aimed in particular at better cooperating with fact-checkers and depriving publicity sites distributing infox.
“We think it’s a mistake on Twitter’s part (…) They chose confrontation,” Ms. Jourova, in charge of values and transparency within the Commission, told the press.
The fight against disinformation will become a legal obligation
Beyond the voluntary commitments currently in place, the fight against disinformation will become a legal obligation under the DSA (the European law on digital services) in force from August 25th. If Twitter “wants to operate and make money in the European market, it will have to comply with the Digital Services Act,” insisted Ms. Jourova.
“The code is voluntary, but make no mistake: by leaving the code, Twitter will be subject to heightened scrutiny. Its actions and compliance with EU law (DSA) will be scrutinized closely and vigorously. and priority,” she warned.
Twitter’s departure comes as no surprise to Brussels: since taking over the social network more than six months ago, billionaire Elon Musk has eased the moderation of problematic content and seems to have amplified the voice of notorious propagators of misinformation on the platform.
The European code of best practices against online disinformation brings together around thirty signatories, giants such as Meta, Google, Microsoft or TikTok, but also smaller platforms, as well as advertising professionals, fact-checkers and NGOs. . The signatories of the code had themselves participated in its drafting. “A lot of people working at Twitter had collaborated with us (…) It’s sad. Twitter had very competent and determined (employees) who understood that there must be a certain responsibility, a reinforced responsibility on the part of platforms,” said Jourova.