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Twitter: “Lockdown” at the Brussels office – “War” with the EU?

Twitter has closed its Brussels office, sparking fears over whether it will comply with new EU rules policing online content.

Twitter locked down its Brussels officesparking fears over whether the platform will comply with Europe’s new rules for policing online content.

The newspaper Financial Times wrote yesterday (11/24) that Twitter’s heads of European digital policy, Dario La Nassa and Julia Moser, left the social networking company last week. The office is now closed after four other executives resigned as part of mass layoffs earlier this month, which shed about 7,500 employees.

Moser and La Nasa led Twitter’s efforts to comply with the Privacy Act. Digital Services of the European Unionwhich went into effect last week and sets new rules for how platforms must keep users safe online.

The former executives “survived” the layoffs in early November, but they may have left following new Twitter boss Elon Musk’s ultimatum to employees to commit to a “hardcore work culture” and work long hours or else leave the company with three months’ severance pay. It is not clear, however, whether they resigned or were fired.

The European Commissioner of Justice met with Twitter representatives in Dublin and asked the company to clarify its position on a number of issues. Twitter Inc’s decisions to close its office in Brussels and lay off thousands of workers are cause for concern, European Justice Commissioner Didier Reyders said.

“Twitter representatives assured of the company’s commitment to ensure the its full compliance with European ruless. Commissioner Reiders noted this commitment and asked Twitter to translate it into concrete measures,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The 51-year-old billionaire’s first two weeks as Twitter owner have been marked by a major revision to the rules and a series of snap decisions, including firing the company’s former CEO Parag Agrawal and about half its staff.

The latest staff departures follow a similar pattern tendency of employees around the world to leave the company. The results of a poll, conducted after Musk’s ultimatum by workplace app Blind, showed that 42% of Twitter workers chose the answer “Opt out, I’m free!”

A quarter said they chose to stay “reluctantly” and only 7% of participants said they clicked “yes they want me to stay, I’m a die-hard”.

The boss of SpaceX and Tesla, which completed its $44 billion purchase of Twitter last month, has raised concerns about whether its platform will remain secure after reversing bans on controversial figures while also pledging to loosen content moderation rules.

Also questions are raised about the whether Musk will comply with stricter EU rules for the data. On Thursday (24/11) the European Commission showed that hate speech removals from Twitter had fallen by around 5% year-on-year. Musk also delayed the relaunch of the Twitter Blue subscription service after the blue tick feature was used by Twitter impersonators.

The new framework of rules is known as the Digital Services Act, while it will be implemented from February 2024requiring online platforms to do more to monitor the internet for posting illegal content or face fines of 6% of their annual global revenue.





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