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Twitter closes its whole operation in Brussels due to regulatory changes

At a time when it faces growing regulatory security, Twitter Inc. has laid off its final remaining staff in Brussels, a center for regulation.

According to those with insider knowledge of the exits, the modest office of six employees was reduced to two in recent weeks as a result of Elon Musk’s massive workforce reduction. After Musk urged staff to commit to a “hardcore working culture,” the remaining two individuals quit during the past week.

The Brussels headquarters served as a crucial center for Twitter to interact with a flood of recently enacted European regulations. The social media site has long struggled with the idea that it cannot control hate speech and misinformation.

It was impossible to reach a Twitter spokesperson for comment. However, a news panel first broke the news of the withdrawals from Brussels.

European leaders and regulators have quickly insisted that Twitter adhere to their rules. European Commissioner Thierry Breton delivered a warning to the new owner, urging the business to “fly by our rules,” hours after billionaire Musk completed his $44 billion purchase of the company.

Governments now have additional authority to enforce regulations dictating how digital companies censor material and determine when to remove illegal information according to the EU’s Digital Services Act. Musk will be subject to sanctions of up to 6% of Twitter’s annual revenue and possibly even a ban if he doesn’t comply.

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Is Twitter violating consumer protection laws? 

A group has also requested the US Federal Trade Commission of Democratic senators to investigate whether Twitter violated consumer protection laws or its consent decree while Musk owned it.

In an effort to convince European regulators, Musk has promised to abide by their laws. According to a person familiar with the situation, the Tesla CEO called Breton the day after taking over Twitter to assure him that the service would adhere to the DSA.

Since then, Musk has planned to drastically reduce Twitter’s employees, including a large portion of the executive team, to save money. Managers from the UK and Ireland have also quit, and on Sunday, the French Twitter head tweeted about his leaving.

Following employee losses, French media watchdog Arcom wrote to Twitter’s European headquarters in Ireland last Friday to inquire if the social network still had the resources to maintain content moderation in accordance with French and EU rules.

Roch-Olivier Maistre, the CEO of Arcom, highlighted his significant concern regarding Twitter’s ability to continue to provide a secure environment for its users in the wake of employee reductions. According to French Laws, Twitter is mandated to combat false information and hate speech, much like other sites.

Following the departure of Twitter’s data protection officer, Ireland’s data watchdog also met with executives from the firm last week. Twitter’s acting officer assured the data protection authority that it will adhere to EU data regulations. The Data Protection Commission of Ireland promised to “closely” follow the development.

 

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