The former head of Twitter’s French office recently announced his resignation, and last day’s news was the complete closure of the company’s Brussels office. As the Belgian capital formally remains the administrative and legal center of the European Union, local regulators have raised concerns about the social network’s ability to comply with the regional bloc’s tightened laws.
French media watchdogs have even sent a request to Twitter asking for clarification on what steps the fast-losing social network can take to ensure it continues to operate in the region in full compliance with local laws. The agency was able to get an official response from Twitter and is now analyzing it, he explains. Reuters.
That hasn’t stopped EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders from voicing his concerns about Twitter’s ability to comply with new laws the company must comply with in the area of non-disclosure of harmful and illegal information. The officer traveled to Twitter’s European headquarters in Dublin to seek clarification from company officials. He also called for the legality assurances received from Twitter to be translated into concrete action.
From February 2024, the so-called Digital Services Act will come into force in the European Union. It will require online platforms to tighten controls on the dissemination of false information, even if it is formally legal, and to stop hate speech. If social networks fail to deal with such problems effectively, they face fines of 6% of their annual turnover and, in the worst case, even a ban on activities in the region by the European authorities.
Twitter’s Brussels office specializes in interacting with EU authorities, but the last two of six employees were made redundant this week. Regulators may have been somewhat concerned by the recent announcement by Elon Musk, who has owned Twitter since late October, that he was ready to issue a “general amnesty” for blocked users starting next week. In such cases, he traditionally ended his tweet with a Latin sentence “The voice of the people is the voice of God”.