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Thursday, December 1, 2022
HomeEconomyTwitter closes Brussels office, worries EU officials

Twitter closes Brussels office, worries EU officials

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Twitter has shut down its Brussels office, sparking concerns among EU officials over whether the social media platform will comply with the bloc’s strict new rules on policing online content.

Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, responsible for Twitter’s digital policy in Europe, left the company last week, according to five people briefed on the situation.

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The executives were spearheading the company’s effort to comply with the EU’s disinformation code and the bloc’s landmark Digital Services Act, which took effect last week and sets out new rules for how big tech must keep users safe online.

Other Twitter executives in the small but vital Brussels office, considered a crucial conduit for European policymakers, left earlier this month during company-wide cutbacks that removed about half of its 7,500-strong workforce.

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Mozer and La Nasa survived the initial cutback but no longer work there after the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, issued an ultimatum last week for employees to commit to a “hard-core work culture”. It is unclear whether the duo resigned or were fired.

Mozer and La Nasa declined to comment. Twitter did not respond to requests for information.

The departures from Brussels are symptomatic of a global trend, from India to France, in which Twitter executives who held key positions dealing with government officials have suddenly left the organization in recent weeks due to widespread cuts.

This has caused growing concern over whether the company has the staff to ensure compliance with local internet content policing laws, potentially opening the company up to lawsuits and regulatory action.

“I am concerned about the news of the dismissal of such a large number of Twitter employees in Europe,” Vera Jourová, vice president in charge of the EU’s disinformation code, told the Financial Times. “If you want to effectively detect and act against misinformation and propaganda, you need resources.

“Especially in the context of the Russian disinformation war, I expect Twitter to fully respect EU law and honor its commitments. Twitter has been a very helpful partner in the fight against disinformation and illegal hate speech, and that must not change. .”

The European Commission will publish figures on Thursday that show Twitter is falling behind in its efforts to comply with the disinformation code, according to people with knowledge of the research. The numbers show that hate speech removals by Twitter are down by about 5% year-over-year.

These problems come as Musk’s attempts to revamp Twitter’s business run into trouble, most notably in verifying the identity of users.

The billionaire entrepreneur, who bought the social networking platform for $44 billion last month, has delayed the relaunch of its flagship subscription service, Twitter Blue, until there is “high confidence to stop identity fraud”.

Musk intended to restart Twitter Blue on Nov. 29 after its unsuccessful launch earlier in the month when its “blue badge” feature was rigged by imitators on the platform.

Some brands have also expressed concerns about whether the platform remains a safe place to advertise, given Musk’s pledges to relax content moderation rules and his decision to roll back bans on controversial users such as the former US president, Donald Trump.

Translated by Luiz Roberto M. Gonçalves

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Debra
Debra
I have over 10 years of experience working in the news industry. I have worked for several different news organizations, including a large news website like News Bulletin 247. I am an expert in the field of economics and have written several books on the subject. I am a highly skilled writer and editor, and have a strong knowledge of social media. I am a highly respected member of the news industry, and my work has been featured in many major publications.

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