Elon Musk strikes deal to buy Twitter; European Commission issues warning

The European Commission has warned that Elon Musk must observe its new digital rules after the billionaire struck a deal to buy Twitter.

One of its spokesmen, Johannes Bahrke, said that the Digital Services Act, aimed at protecting users’ rights online, applies to all major platforms.

In the United Kingdom, Downing Street said “regardless of ownership, all social media platforms must be responsible”.

Musk’s deal for Twitter came with a pledge to reduce censorship.

Human rights groups are concerned that less moderation on the platform could lead to a rise in hate speech.

Musk, who is a self-described “free speech absolutist”, has been vocal in his criticism of Twitter’s policies on moderating content, arguing that it needs to be a genuine forum for free speech.

As part of the takeover, which is expected to close later this year, Twitter’s shares will be delisted and it will be taken private.

In London, the prime minister’s official spokesman added that tech firms’ responsibilities include protecting users from harm on their sites.

“It is too early to say what – if any – changes will be made to how Twitter operates,” he added.

“It remains an important tool, it’s used by world leaders, and we will continue to work with them to make sure it continues to improve.”

Meanwhile, Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market at the EU executive, warned in a tweet: “Be it cars or social media, any company operating in Europe needs to comply with our rules – regardless of their shareholding.” (BBC)

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