‘In Europe, bird will fly by our rules’: EU digital chief's warning to Elon Musk after Twitter takeover

Updated on Oct 28, 2022 02:57 PM IST

European Union's commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton also posted an old video of him and Elon Musk wherein they both signalled agreement on the bloc's digital media regulation.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

Hours after Tesla CEO Elon Musk's “bird is freed” tweet on Friday, which implied the completion of his takeover of Twitter, the European Union's (EU) commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton warned the new owner of the social media giant. Referring to compliance of rules and regulations, the EU official said that Twitter bird must play by the bloc's norms.

“In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules,” Breton tweeted, in response to Musk's “bird is freed” tweet.

In another tweet, Breton posted a video of him and Musk from May this year wherein they both signalled agreement on the EU digital media regulation. The meeting had happened weeks after the Tesla CEO clinched a deal to buy the social media firm for $44 billion.

Also Read | As Elon Musk takes over Twitter, minister says: 'Our rules remain the same'

“That’s what he said,” Breton tweeted.

In the video, the EU official tells Musk that he has explained the Digital Services Act to him, and that it “fits pretty well” with what the world's richest man thinks they should do.

“I think it's exactly aligned with my thinking…I agree with everything you said, really,” Musk responds, adding that it was a “great discussion” the two had.

Breton later says that if in the future differences arise, it is best to “come and discuss”.

The video, however, did not show Musk and Breton extensively discussing the EU Digital Services Act that levies hefty fines on firms if they fail to contain illegal content.

Musk is yet to respond to Breton's latest tweet.

The Tesla CEO took over Twitter - a journey filled with an array of twists and turns, including legal probe, firing several top executives en route, including CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. He reportedly had accused them of misleading him and the social media giant's investors over the number of fake accounts on the platform.

Musk's “bird is freed” tweet though was a nod to his free speech self, he said he wants to prevent Twitter from becoming an echo chamber for discrimination and hate.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Musk plans to assume the role of CEO himself. A person familiar with the matter said that the world's richest man is likely to remain at the helm in the interim but may eventually pass on the role in the longer term.

The Tesla CEO also intends to do away with permanent bans on users, with the person adding that Musk does not believe in lifelong prohibitions.

In May this year, calling the Twitter ban on former US President Donald Trump “morally wrong and flat-out stupid”, Musk said he would reverse the same. Trump was permanently suspended from the social media platform shortly after the January 6 US Capitol riots, with Twitter citing the “risk of further incitement of violence” as its reason at the time.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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    A journalist with 7+ years of experience, I pretty much inhale and exhale news – figuratively speaking. Cooking, reading and playing with my dog take up the remaining hours of my normal day. I have an inclination for true crime stories, and love listening to such podcasts.

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