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Germany warns Musk about misinformation laws on Twitter

Germany warns Musk about misinformation laws on Twitter

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German digital director warns Elon Musk about misinformation on Twitter

Image: Leon Neal (Getty Images)

Twitter CEO Elon Musk met with Germany’s digital director to discuss the country’s expectations of disinformation on the platform. Representatives of the German Embassy organized the short-notice meeting in San Francisco the evening before.

Digital and Transport Minister Volker Wissing traveled to California to meet with Musk before attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. During the meeting, Wissing informed Musk that misinformation posted on Twitter violates the Digital Service Act (DSA), which was passed by all 27 European Union (EU) member states in April last year.

The EU introduced the DSA to protect children, fight misogyny and curb disinformation, among other things. When the DSA was first passed, EU member states warned that Twitter was not ready for the changes, which would be fully enforced across major platforms by the summer.

Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner overseeing the legislation, told Musk in April that he had “great work ahead” to comply with the law on Twitter, which he eventually bought for $44 billion in October The guard.

“The Digital Services Act is groundbreaking legislation that will set a global standard for regulating content and protecting users from harm online,” Peter Church, technology attorney at Linklaters, told The Guardian.

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The meeting comes after Musk restored the accounts of thousands of people who had previously been suspended from Twitter for violating the company’s various policies, including those against the dissemination of false information, harmful or offensive comments and the Propagation of anti-Semitic or racist views prohibited.

But in November, Twitter also announced it would no longer enforce the Covid-19 misinformation policy that was introduced in the early days of the 2020 pandemic.

However, a spokesman for the German ministry said in an email to Gizmodo that their government is closely monitoring changes to Twitter since Musk took over. “In her talks with Elon Musk, Federal Minister Wissing made it clear, among other things, that Germany expects that the existing voluntary commitments against disinformation and the rules of the Digital Services Act will be observed in the future,” she said.

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, likely because the company no longer has a communications department.

Germany and other EU member states have “defined clear rules … to tackle illegal content, increasing disinformation and bots on social networks,” the spokesman said, adding that all companies are responsible for the content shared on their platforms responsibility must be held.

The spokesperson declined to comment on Musk’s statements during the meeting, but said, “It was spoken very frankly and at length.” to comply with.”

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