LONDON (AP) – Twitter has pulled out of a European Union voluntary agreement to tackle online disinformation, a senior EU official said on Friday.
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted that Twitter has withdrawn from the EU’s disinformation “code of conduct,” which other major social media platforms have pledged to support. However, he added that Twitter’s “commitment” remains, referring to that of the EU strict new digital rules comes into effect in August.
“You can run, but you can’t hide,” Breton said.
San Francisco-based Twitter, like most press inquiries, responded with an automated response and had no comment.
The decision to step down from involvement in the fight against misinformation appears to be the latest move by billionaire owner Elon Musk to loosen rein over the social media company after buying it last year. He rolled Support for previous anti-misinformation rulesand has thrown its verification system and content moderation policies into chaos while pursuing its goal of making Twitter one digital city square.
Google, TikTok, Microsoft and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, among others, have joined the EU code, which requires companies to measure their work fighting disinformation and report regularly on their progress.
There were already signs that Twitter wasn’t ready to live up to its commitments. The European Commission, the executive branch of the 27-country bloc, blasted Twitter earlier this year for failing under the Code to provide a full initial report as it contained little specific information and no targeted data.
Breton said tackling disinformation will become a “legal obligation” under the new digital rules, which include the code of conduct.
“Our teams will be ready for enforcement,” he said.