French Digital Minister Jean-Noel Barrot recently acknowledged Elon Musk for being a great entrepreneur and inventor—one of the greatest from the beginning of this century. The minister lauded him for bringing major innovations to the market. However, when it comes to social networks, Musk and Twitter might be on a slippery slope.
Barrot said that Musk’s social media company will have to comply with new EU regulations that are coming into law in August 2023. Among the new regulations that will apply to social platforms are “the fight against disinformation, moderation, and so on.” He asserted that there will be “huge scrutiny” by the EU Commission on the actions that Twitter is going to take to meet these new obligations. Specifically, he said,
“If Twitter fails to comply to these new obligations, Twitter will face sanctions upto 6% of global sales. In case those failures to comply are not corrected, then they would face the obligation to leave the EU. So, it is very important that Twitter takes action.”
Twitter’s actions are not reassuring: Barrot
Barrot added, what regulators have seen over the past couple of weeks is “not reassuring” as to the ability of Twitter to comply with these new rules. Here, it is worth noting that the EU’s Digital Services Act [DSA] is due to fully take effect on Aug. 25, 2023. Per the new rules, social media platforms are expected to enact measures to mitigate disinformation and manipulation.
Alongside, social media companies are obligated to ban the use of so-called ‘dark patterns’. They are used to mislead and trick users into choices they do not intend to make.
Here it is worth recalling that the European consumer group BEUC recently lodged a complaint with the European Commission and consumer authorities. The group contended that platforms like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter are fostering the misleading promotion of crypto assets.
According to the BEUC, portraying misleading advertisements of crypto assets on social media apps is an unfair commercial practice. More so, because this exposes consumers to several risks, including the loss of funds. The group asked the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network to ensure that these social media companies adopt stricter advertising policies w.r.t. crypto. Additionally, BEUC also wants Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter to take measures to ward off influencers from deceiving consumers.