Twitter is abandoning the bloc’s code of practice on disinformation, EU official says

Twitter has pulled out of the bloc’s voluntary agreement to fight online disinformation, according to a senior European Union official

ByKELVIN CHAN is an AP business writer

LONDON — Twitter has pulled out of the European Union’s voluntary agreement to fight online disinformation, a senior EU official said on Friday.

European Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted that Twitter had left the EU’s disinformation “code of practice”, which other major social media platforms have also agreed to. But he added that Twitter’s “obligation” remained, referring to tough new EU digital rules coming into effect in August.

“You can run, but you can’t hide,” Breton said.

San Francisco-based Twitter, as it does to most press inquiries, responded with an automated response and did not comment.

Billionaire owner Elon Musk’s latest move appears to be to abandon his commitment to combating disinformation, which he sought to loosen on the social media company after buying it last year. He has rolled back previous rules against misinformation and thrown the moderation system and content moderation policy into disarray as he pursues his goal of turning Twitter into a digital city square.

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Google, TikTok, Microsoft and Facebook and Instagram parent Meta are among those that have signed up to the EU code, which requires companies to measure their work in the fight against disinformation and produce regular reports about their progress.

There were already signs that Twitter was unwilling to live up to its promises. The European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-member bloc, faulted Twitter earlier this year for not submitting a full first report on the code, saying it provided little specific information and untargeted data.

Breton said that under the new digital rules, which include a code of practice, combating disinformation will become a “legal obligation”.

“Our teams are ready to execute,” he said.