The European Union Commissioner for Values and Transparency spoke to Euronews Next about Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover in a viral social media post, saying, “So, our message was clear: We have rules that have to be complied with. Otherwise, there will be sanctions.”
She went on to comment, “I think that the confidence has been weakened, and I had quite a high level of confidence when it comes to Twitter. I have to say that we worked with knowledgeable people, lawyers, and sociologists who understood that they have to behave in some decent way and not cause significant harm to society. I always felt that this notion of responsibility was there. So, this is what I personally don’t feel from Elon Musk.”
In response to these statements, critics of speech regulations argued that foreign entities have no right to demand censorship from private U.S. companies and called for free speech in the digital public square. They said the term “hate speech” was too broad and encompassed all speech opposed by the EU.
Věra Jourová, the EU Vice-President for Values and Transparency, states, “It’s worrying to see a downward trend in reviewing notifications related to illegal hate speech by social media platforms. Online hate speech is a scourge of the digital age, and platforms need to live up to their commitments, including by dedicating sufficient resources to make the online world safer for everyone. This is even more important since the Code of Conduct supports the obligations laid down in the Digital Services Act – continuing to deliver results under the Code is to continue to fight against hate speech.”
The Digital Services Act, passed by the EU, grants member countries the ability to regulate and fine digital platforms, including social media companies, for violations of a law passed by individuals U.S. citizens never voted for.
However, Elon Musk has not indicated a willingness to comply with these regulations in the near future.