Shortly after he became the owner of Twitter, Elon Musk tweeted “the bird is freed,” which implied Twitter will be more free speech-friendly under his ownership.
Replying to Musk's tweet, the European Union's internet market commissioner Thierry Breton said, “In Europe, the bird will fly by our [EU flag emoji] rules. #DSA”
The Digital Services Act (DSA) is a new set of rules for social media and ecommerce companies that was recently passed and will come into effect next year. It aims at making internet businesses liable for societal risks like hate speech. Breton's tweet was a warning to Musk that Twitter will have to follow DSA rules.
Breton's spokesperson refused to say whether the European Commission is concerned about Musk's ownership of Twitter. However, a source told TechCrunch that the bloc was confident the bird's wings are already clipped.
“With the EU Digital Services Act, the time of big online platforms behaving like they are ‘too big to care' is coming to an end. The DSA sets clear, harmonized obligations for platforms – proportionate to size, impact and risk,” the source said.
“Europe is open — but on our conditions. Anyone who wants to benefit from the European market will have to fulfill our rules, including on moderation, open algorithms, freedom of speech, transparency, hate speech, revenge porn, and harassment.
“The Commission will supervise very large platforms, including the possibility to impose effective and dissuasive sanctions of up to 6% of global turnover or even a ban on operating in the EU single market in case of repeated serious breaches.”