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More than a hundred members of the European Parliament published a letter on Tuesday urging their speaker to summon US industrialist Elon Musk to explain his plans for Twitter. online news
The Tesla and Space X billionaire has raised concerns about the political direction of the social media platform, heavily-used by many European lawmakers and policy-setters since he took control of it last month.
The Renew Europe group of centrist and liberal MEPs wrote to the president of the parliament, conservative Roberta Metsola, to demand a hearing on the issue.
“Whilst the precise intentions of the new owner of Twitter, Mr Elon Musk, are not fully known, his statement and the actions he has taken so far offer cause for concern,” Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld said.
Courting controversy as he shakes up the site, Musk has already provoked alarm by sacking Twitter teams responsible for content moderation.
He has also urged his followers on the platform to back right-wing Republican candidates in Tuesday’s US midterm congressional election.
The European Union is drawing up legislation to regulate the online space, and EU lawyers have often clashed with US tech giants as they try to force them to play by European market rules.
“Twitter cannot become a dystopian hellscape,” warned Renew Europe’s internal market committee coordinator, MEP Dita Charanzova.
“On the contrary, it must do even more than it has been doing to fight disinformation and hate. This is what Mr Musk actually signed up for, at least in Europe,” she said.
“He should come and see us so he can understand the European rules of the game. He has obligations under the (EU) Digital Services Act and the 2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation, which Twitter is subject to.”
There was no immediate response from Metsola’s office to the MEP’s request that she invite Musk.
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