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Twitter will respect EU laws to combat disinformation, Elon Musk says

SpaceX, Twitter and electric car maker Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends an event during the Vivatech technology startups and innovation fair in Paris.
SpaceX, Twitter and electric car maker Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends an event during the Vivatech technology startups and innovation fair in Paris. Copyright JOEL SAGET / AFP
Copyright JOEL SAGET / AFP
By Euronews
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Billionaire Elon Musk spoke to a French broadcaster about respecting EU content moderation rules.

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Twitter will abide by EU laws to combat disinformation and hate speech online, billionaire Elon Musk confirmed in an interview with French broadcaster France 2 on the sidelines of VivaTech.

"Twitter will obey the law. If laws are passed, Twitter will obey the law," Musk insisted, in an interview that was dubbed in French by the broadcaster.

It was in response to a question about the EU's Digital Services Act (DSA), which came into force late last year.

The EU law creates obligations for large digital platforms to reduce harm and protect consumer rights.

He qualified, however, that the social media platform he took over last year would not go "beyond the will of the people as expressed by the law".

Musk has served as the company's CEO since the takeover but recently designated a new chief executive to take the reins.

Twitter was designated as one of the "very large online platforms" that will have to adhere to stricter rules under the Digital Services Act from 25 August.

But Musk pulled Twitter out of the EU's anti-disinformation code - a series of voluntary commitments to combat misinformation - late last month.

Věra Jourová, the European Commission's vice president for values and transparency, said the platform had chosen "the hard way" and "confrontation" with the EU by doing so.

Internal market commissioner Theirry Breton, who announced Twitter's move to pull out of the voluntary code, said: "You can run but you can’t hide", adding that fighting disinformation would become a "legal obligation" in August due to the digital services act.

Musk also said in the interview with France 2 that Twitter's goal was to have "good interactions from many different viewpoints" that promotes "better understanding between people from different political parties or different countries".

"I want Twitter to be a force for good in civilisation," he added.

Musk said that he was not worried about advertisers leaving Twitter as long as the company breaks even.

He also claimed that there was "less hate speech" on the platform, even when the interviewer Anne-Sophie Lapix presented statistics that showed the opposite.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue found, in particular, that the weekly average number of antisemitic Tweets increased by 106% when comparing the period before and after Musk's acquisition.

Meanwhile, Musk refused to confirm whether Tesla would install a mega factory for electric batteries in France, something the French government has pushed for, but he said that Tesla would be doing important business in the country.

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