BRUSSELS—A top European Union official told
on Tuesday that Twitter Inc. will have to do more over the coming months to prepare for the bloc’s new social-media regulations.
the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, told Mr. Musk during a video call that there were only a few months left before major online platforms like Twitter will have to be fully compliant with the Digital Services Act. Mr. Musk has previously said that he intends to comply with the EU’s new rules.
“The next few months will be crucial to transform commitments into reality,” Mr. Breton said, according to a summary of the call provided by his office. “We need to see progress towards full compliance with the DSA. My team will follow closely the work by Twitter and by all other online platforms.”
The call with Mr. Musk was constructive and delved further into details than previous meetings, an aide to Mr. Breton said. The aide said the conversation lasted more than an hour.
The European Commission, which is responsible for enforcing the DSA, expects to conduct what it referred to as a stress test on Twitter in the coming weeks, according to the summary of the call. Such a test might involve a meeting between Twitter and commission officials to look in detail at which elements of Twitter’s practices are compliant, or not, with the new legislation, the aide to Mr. Breton said.
Following Tuesday’s discussion with Mr. Breton, Mr. Musk wrote on Twitter that the EU’s “goals of transparency, accountability & accuracy of information are aligned with ours.” He also said the company’s crowdsourced fact-checking feature, called Community Notes, would be “transformational” when it comes to ensuring accurate information.
Messrs. Musk and Breton have held similar conversations in the past. Last fall, Mr. Breton said he informed Mr. Musk that Twitter would need to make significant changes to comply with the new EU legislation. The DSA will require major social-media platforms and search engines, including Twitter, to swiftly address illegal content and conduct regular risk assessments beginning later this year.
The law carries hefty fines for noncompliance and the potential to block a platform’s services in case of certain repeated infringements.
Officials in Europe raised questions last year about how Twitter could comply with the new EU law after widespread layoffs and departures left the company’s Brussels office empty and thinned the ranks of staffers responsible for content moderation.
The DSA’s requirements for large social-media companies include maintaining systems for taking down content that European national governments consider to be illegal and providing users with tools to appeal if they believe material they posted was removed unfairly. It also requires regular outside audits.
Mr. Musk has said Twitter should comply with local laws but generally not take steps beyond that in moderating online content.
Twitter has in recent months reinstated a number of users’ accounts, including that of former President
that were previously suspended because of the content they had posted.
—Sam Schechner contributed to this article.
Write to Kim Mackrael at [email protected]
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