LONDON (AP) — Twitter has dropped out of a voluntary European Union agreement to combat online disinformation, according to a top EU official.
European Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted that Twitter had pulled out of the EU’s disinformation “code of practice” that other major social media platforms have pledged to support. But he added that Twitter’s “obligation” remained, referring to the EU’s tough new digital rules taking effect in August.
“You can run but you can’t hide,” Breton said.
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San Francisco–based Twitter responded with an automated reply, as it has in response to most press inquiries since being acquired late last year by billionaire Elon Musk, and did not comment.
The decision to abandon the commitment to fighting false information appears to be the latest move by Musk to loosen the reins on the social-media company, whose purchase Musk completed last October. He has rolled back previous anti-misinformation rules, and has thrown Twitter’s verification system and content-moderation policies into chaos as he pursues his goal of turning Twitter into a digital town square.
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There were already signs Twitter wasn’t prepared to live up to its commitments.
The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s executive arm, blasted Twitter earlier this year for failing to provide a full first report under the code, saying it provided little specific information and no targeted data.
Breton said Friday that under the new digital rules that incorporate the code of practice, fighting disinformation will become a “legal obligation.”
“Our teams will be ready for enforcement,” he said.
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