Twitter to disband Brussels office, sparking fears about online security

Twitter has disbanded its entire Brussels office, sparking concerns among EU officials about whether the social media platform will comply with the bloc’s strict new rules on how to control online content..

Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, who were responsible for Twitter’s European digital policy, left the company last week, five people knew about the departure.

Executives have steered the company to comply with the EU’s disinformation code and the bloc’s landmark digital services law, which came into effect last week and sets new rules for how Big Tech keeps users safe online.

Other Twitter executives at the small but vital Brussels office, seen as a vital conduit to European policymakers, left earlier this month in company-wide layoffs that removed about half of its 7,500-strong workforce.

Mozer and La Nasa survived the initial culling, but are no longer working there after the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, gave staff an ultimatum last week to commit to a “hard work culture.” It is unclear whether the pair resigned or were fired.

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Mozer and La Nasa declined to comment. Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.

The Brussels exits mark a global trend from India to France, where local Twitter executives who held key positions with government officials have abruptly left the organization in recent weeks amid widespread cutbacks.

That has raised concerns about whether the company has the right staff to comply with local laws designed to control online content, potentially opening the company up to lawsuits and regulatory action.

“The news that such a large number of Twitter employees are being laid off in Europe is worrying,” Věra Jourová, the EU’s vice-president responsible for the disinformation code, told the Financial Times. “If we want to effectively detect disinformation and propaganda and act against them, resources are needed.

“Especially in the context of the Russian disinformation war, I expect Twitter to fully respect EU law and fulfill its commitments. Twitter has been a very useful partner in the fight against disinformation and illegal hate speech, and that cannot change.”

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The European Commission will release figures on Thursday that show Twitter has fallen behind in its efforts to comply with the disinformation code, people familiar with the research said. The numbers show that Twitter’s removal of hate speech has fallen by about 5 percent year-over-year.

These issues arose as Musk’s attempts to overhaul Twitter’s business ran into difficulties, particularly over user identity verification.

The billionaire entrepreneur, who bought the social media platform last month for $44 billion, has delayed relaunching his flagship Twitter Blue subscription service until he has “high confidence in stopping impersonation.”

Musk had planned to relaunch Twitter Blue on Nov. 29 after the “blue tick” feature was abused by impersonators on the platform following its botched launch earlier this month.

Brands also expressed concern about whether the platform would remain a safe place to advertise, given Musk’s earlier pledge to relax content moderation rules and his move to remove controversial users such as former US President Donald Trump. prohibition.

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