“The Bird Has Been Released”. This is the first tweet that tycoon Elon Musk has written after completing the purchase for the purchase of 44,000 million dollars of Twitter, in reference to his intention to relax the rules of content moderation in the blue bird network. “In Europe, the bird will fly according to our rules”the Commissioner for the Internal Market replied, Thierry Bretonwearing also twitter.
The Commissioner for the Internal Market has also posted the video of the meeting he had with the owner of Tesla last May in Austin. In that meeting, Musk claimed to be “on the same wavelength” as Breton with regard to the application of the Digital Services Law, the new EU regulation that aims to curb the power of the large American platforms.
“Anything my companies can do that is beneficial for Europe, we want to do“says Musk in the video. Precisely, the Digital Services Law was published this Thursday in the Official Journal of the European Union and will apply from 2024. The Community Executive ensures that the content of this rule does not question freedom of expression, of which the new owner of Twitter declares himself an apostle, although he does set limits.
In Europe, the bird will fly by our 🇪🇺 rules.#DSA https://t.co/95W3qzYsal
— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) October 28, 2022
“Attempt portraying the Commission as someone who is against freedom of expression is not correct. Obviously, we are in favor of freedom of expression. But that does not mean that everything goes. There are activities that should not have a website. That the internet is safe for everyone is something we all believe in,” said Community Executive spokesman Eric Mamer.
The objective of the Digital Services Law is precisely increase the responsibility of the platforms on the contents and products exchanged by its users. For example, counterfeits or scams, illegal content such as child pornography or hate speech, but also disinformation campaigns and fake news.
In addition, the rule grants new rights to users of Twitter and the rest of social networks when denouncing and demanding the rectification of unjustified content moderation decisions. Some obligations that the company will have to fulfill even if it ceases to be listed on the stock market and is now Musk’s toy.
The Digital Services Law applies to all intermediaries on-linebut establishes more demanding obligations for large platforms: those with more than 45 million users, a figure equivalent to 10% of the European population. A category in which, in principle, Twitter will enter.
These companies must carry out once a year a analysis of the risks generated by its activity and adopt corrective measures to mitigate them. The standard defines, specifically, four types of risks: the dissemination of illegal content, the adverse effects on fundamental rights, the manipulation of its services that may have an impact on democratic processes and public security and any negative impact on gender violence, minors or physical or mental health of users .
Against the background of the war in Ukraine and information manipulation on-line associated with the conflict, the co-legislators have introduced a new article to the Digital Services Law that establishes a crisis reaction mechanism, for example, security or health. In that case, Brussels will be able to require the big platforms to adopt proportional and effective corrective measures to limit threats on the internet. These specific measures, which must respect fundamental rights, are limited to three months.
The Community Executive will be responsible for applying the new standard to large platforms and has already promised to do so strictly. Violators face fines of up to 6% of their turnover total from the previous year.
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