French President Emmanuel Macron read the riot act to Elon Musk on Friday, warning that the Twitter CEO must follow European Union regulations prohibiting misinformation and terrorist hate speech online if he plans to keep the social media platform operating across the sea.
“Transparent user policies, significant reinforcement of content moderation and protection of freedom of speech: Efforts have to be made by Twitter to comply with European regulations,” Macron said, adding that he informed Musk in a “clear and honest discussion.”
Musk’s dramatic Twitter policy changes allowing misinformation and hate speech are “a big issue,” Macron said Thursday in an interview on “Good Morning America.”
“Free speech and democracy is based on respect and public order. You can demonstrate, you can have free speech, you can write what you want, but there are responsibilities and limits,” Macron added.
Twitter’s already in trouble in Europe following Musk’s decision to allow potentially health- and life-threatening COVID misinformation to be spread on the platform.
European Union Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has warned that Twitter risks serious sanctions if Musk refuses to comply with requirements that the company moderate content and tackle disinformation. “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules,” he warned in a tweet after Musk took over Twitter.
Macron said Musk told him during the meeting that Twitter would follow the Christchurch Call, named after the massacre of 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Call is a plan of action supported by several heads of state to “eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.”
Musk also agreed to cooperate to improve child protection online, according to Macron.
The increase in hate speech on Twitter has never before been bigger since Musk took over, according to research. Online attacks against Black people have tripled, and slams against the LGBTQ community are up nearly 60%. Additionally, antisemitic posts soared 61% in the first two weeks of the Musk regime.
Twitter allowed horrifyingly gruesome videos of the Christchurch massacres to be posted about a week ago. The video clips were filmed by the Australian white supremacist who murdered the Muslim worshippers. The videos were taken down only after the New Zealand government contacted Twitter, The Guardian reported.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that after the videos were removed, Twitter expressed a commitment to be more vigilant against such content.
“We will continue to maintain our expectation that [Twitter does] everything they can on a day-to-day basis to remove that content, but also to reduce terrorist and violent extremist content online, as they’ve committed to,” Ardern said.
Musk just days ago allowed notorious American neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin back on Twitter after a decade-long ban. The racist, antisemitic, homophobic and misogynistic Anglin declared in 2018 that he hates women and believes they “deserve to be beaten, raped and locked in cages.”