Tech

Elon Musk says he's 'exactly aligned' with strict new EU rules on policing social-media platforms

Business Insider US
Elon Musk. Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Elon Musk. Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk discussed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter with EU lawmaker Thierry Breton.
  • Musk said strict new EU rules to regulate social-media platforms were "exactly aligned" with his thinking.
  • Breton previously warned Musk not to fall foul of the new rules.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Elon Musk has said he's "exactly aligned" with strict new European Union rules on policing harmful content on social-media platforms.

Musk, who's buying Twitter for $44 billion, met on Monday with EU Commissioner Thierry Breton in Austin, Texas, to discuss the bloc's new Digital Services Act (DSA), which will give it the power to fine social-media companies up to 6% of their annual turnover and ban them from doing business in the EU.

In a video posted on Breton's Twitter account Monday, the commissioner says to Musk: "I was happy to explain to you the DSA, our new regulation in Europe, and I think now you understand very well."

Musk responds: "I think it's exactly aligned with my thinking. Anything my companies can do that would be beneficial to Europe, we want to do that."

In a reply to Breton's tweet, Musk said: "Great meeting! We are very much on the same page."

The EU has long been a thorn in the side of Big Tech, with companies including Microsoft, Apple, and Google having found themselves at the sharp end of regulatory investigations and fines.

In late April, Breton issued a warning to Musk that the billionaire would need to adhere to the DSA or face sanction.

Musk has described himself as a "free speech absolutist" and cited a desire to loosen Twitter's moderation rules as part of the reason he's buying the company. 

In a tweet on Monday, Musk said: "My preference is to how close to the laws of countries in which Twitter operates. If the citizens want something banned, then pass a law to do so, otherwise it should be allowed."

Musk's stance has led to concerns that hate speech and misinformation could become more of a problem on Twitter.

EU Commissioner Thierry Breton. Thierry Monasse/Getty Images
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton. Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

European Parliament officials agreed on the wording of the DSA late last month but the legislation still needs to be officially adopted by the EU. NPR reported that this is expected to happen in the European summer.

At the earliest, the DSA will be fully in force across the EU from January 1, 2024, but it may apply to "very large online platforms" sooner — four months after they are designated as such, according to the rules.


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