Senior EU officials expressed anger on Friday after Twitter CEO Elon Musk pulled his platform out of the bloc’s online censorship project.
Musk pulled Twitter out of the EU’s “Code of Practice,” a pro-censorship project aimed at tackling so-called “disinformation” online,
The move comes after months of mixed messages from Elon Musk, who stated that he wanted to support free speech while insisting that Twitter would support the EU in its censorship program.
As Politico reported, Musk appears to be prioritizing his freedom of speech over leasing EU overlords.
EU Internal Market Commissar Thierry Breton confirmed on Twitter that the platform left the project.
As Breitbar reported:
“The Frenchman, however, went on to say that legal obligations for Musk’s company to censor content disliked by the European Union remains, echoing previous threats made by him that the platform would be thrown out of the bloc entirely if it does not submit to Brussels’ demands.”
“You can run, but you can’t hide,” he wrote.
“Beyond voluntary commitments, fighting disinformation will be a legal obligation under [Digital Services Act] as of August 25.”
“Our teams will be ready for enforcement,” he threatened.
Musk’s decision to pull Twitter out of the EU’s voluntary censorship program signals a worsening tension between the company and the transnational union.
As the outlet continued:
Although the crusade against disinformation is voluntary for now, as mentioned by Breton, the bloc’s Digital Services Act will soon mandate that major social media companies preemptively censor certain content, statements, views, and opinions deemed impermissible by Brussels.
Under the coming regulations, any platform that refuses to abide by the rules risks massive fines, as well as facing a potential ban from operating within the union.
However, Musk’s recent politicking in the United States may make things a little more difficult for European powers, with the tech billionaire recently cozying up to the Ron DeSantis Presidential campaign.
In turn, as a consequence of Breton and his EU colleagues taking on Musk over free speech, the bloc could find itself having made a number of very influential enemies with access to the most powerful office in the world.
Earlier this month, Musk also pushed back against Ireland’s forthcoming hate speech laws, calling it a “massive attack against freedom of speech.”
The new proposed legislation will grant Irish authorities the to criminally convict people for “hate speech” offenses, including possessing material that could “incite” hatred in others if disseminated.
According to Catholic Herald, The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill, 2022 is designed to replace the 1989 Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, a law widely considered to have achieved the necessary balance of protecting free speech while outlawing overt incitement toward violence in society.
The outlet adds:
A press release from the Department of Justice, however, informs that the 1989 law was ineffective because it only secured 50 convictions over 30 years, implying, somewhat worryingly, that the objective of the law is to create more criminals and that the value and efficacy of law is assessed based on this quantitative metric.