Lawmakers are pushing Elon Musk to come to the European Parliament and reassure them that Twitter Inc. won’t become a platform that threatens democracy. Sophie in ‘t Veld, a key member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs panel, said she is concerned about giving “free rein” to hate speech, the incitement of hatred and violence, disinformation seeking to influence elections.
“We first want to know: Is he indeed going to play by the rules, to respect European laws?” in ‘t Veld, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “I think we also want to be reassured that Twitter is not going to be, let’s say, a threat to democracy.”
The EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, has warned Musk that he will have to follow the EU’s rules, most notably the Digital Services Act which requires companies to take down illegal content and take more action to combat harmful content.
Musk, who portrays himself as a free-speech absolutist, has made a number of key changes to Twitter since he took over at the end of October, including laying off nearly half the company’s workforce and making users pay to receive a blue check mark that up to now has meant the company verified the user’s identity.
In ‘t Veld also said she wouldn’t pay to keep the blue check mark. “Why would I pay Elon Musk?” she said, adding that Musk bought the company to make money. “We have to pay for it for him to conduct his business?”
© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.