Twitter just made it even harder to believe what you read on the internet

Twitter has pulled out of an EU voluntary Code of Practice that was designed to help prevent the spread of misinformation.

While Twitter is yet to confirm the move, the EU’s internal market commissioner shared the news in a tweet. However, this doesn’t absolve Twitter of its responsibilities, Thierry Breton confirmed in the same tweet.

“But obligations remain. You can run but you can’t hide,” Breton said, adding that fighting disinformation will be a legal requirement as of August 25, 2023.

‘Our teams will be ready for enforcement’

In what was surely a shot across the bow of Twitter and owner Elon Musk, Breton also said that the EU’s “teams will be ready for enforcement.”

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The BBC notes that dozens of companies voluntarily signed up for the code including some big names like Meta and Google. It was first launched in June of 2022 with the aim of preventing the spread of fake news and promoting transparency.

Neither of those things appears to be on the agenda at Twitter. The BBC reminds us that Twitter once had a team dedicated to dealing with disinformation. But with workers either having resigned or laid off, it isn’t clear where Twitter stands in terms of its will or ability to ensure fake news doesn’t spread across its social network like wildfire.

However, it might not have a choice. The Digital Services Act will come into effect on August 25, making it a legal requirement for companies with more than 45 million monthly active users to comply with laws surrounding misinformation.

“The law will mean Twitter will have to have a mechanism for users to flag illegal content, act upon notifications ‘expeditiously’ and put in measures to address the spread of disinformation,” the BBC adds.

It remains to be seen what Twitter will actually do when faced with the EU’s requirements.



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