EU warns Elon Musk that lack of Twitter moderation could help Vladimir Putin

midian182

Posts: 8,480   +104
Staff member
A hot potato: As Elon Musk reduces Twitter's content moderation to make the platform a bastion of free speech while also cutting its workforce, one of the European Union's top officials has warned the billionaire could be inadvertently helping Vladimir Putin by not removing Russian propaganda relating to the war in Ukraine.

European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova told Bloomberg that failing to tackle online disinformation could "lead to the very quick abuse" of Twitter.

"By not acting actively against the propaganda, which means to remove the pieces of propaganda, the disinformation, then you are actively supporting the war," she said. "This would be a very tricky and maybe dangerous endeavor or adventure for Mr. Musk," who "wants to be seen as somebody who is helping Ukraine."

Musk's SpaceX company has supplied Ukraine with over 25,000 Starlink ground terminals since the war began in Ukraine, helping keep its citizens and military online. He noted that creating, launching, maintaining, and replenishing satellites and ground stations, as well as paying telcos for access to the internet via gateways, costs SpaceX close to $20 million per month. Musk had warned that the ongoing costs could see this generosity end, but he backtracked and said SpaceX would fund Starlink in Ukraine "indefinitely."

Twitter has already been criticized for failing to stop the circulation of an antisemitic cartoon posted by Russian diplomats on the official account of the Russian Embassy in London.

Musk has long promised to reduce moderation on Twitter and has been reinstating previously banned accounts. He's also slashed the company's headcount by more than half, impacting its ability to identify and remove harmful content. The situation is worrying advertisers, including Apple, whom Musk says has threatened to drop the app from its store—the world's richest man said he would build his own phone if this happens.

Musk lost much of the goodwill he earned from the people of Ukraine after he tweeted a peace plan poll that brought angry reactions, including one from the country's president. He also had to deny reports that he recently spoke to Vladimir Putin about the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Bloomberg notes that failure to comply with current and upcoming EU laws related to harmful online content could see Twitter hit with fines equivalent to a percentage of the company's global sales, which would be the last thing the company needs after Musk warned that bankruptcy isn't an impossibility.

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Trapped Nowhere

Posts: 131   +95
How would such a thing be possible? Social media doesn't fall for propaganda so easily. The truth always beats lies and users consistently access information from multiple sources
 

takaozo

Posts: 514   +812
Free speech? Where in US? It was lost many years ago. Don't believe me try to say the "N" word anywhere (without being a afro american).
Now that is a real democracy and freedom of speech.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,348   +2,023
I get that many traditional media companies would want to remove that post for the simple bottom-line reason of believing they'd have more users & more advertisers without it. As a private business it is reasonable for them to establish the rules they want (and for users to choose their social networks accordingly.)

I don't understand why the EU government feels this is any sort of strategic threat that is best countered with removal vs. disagreement. I do not need the post removed to know that Russia launched its missiles first, and that collateral damage from trying to defend against them is ultimately on Russia not Ukraine. I am surprised that a Russia ambassador in London of all places would willingly portray himself and his country as having the sophistication of a dumb child anti-semite bigot with the big nose part, but hey if they want to be seen that way let the world's treatment of them reflect it.

It does no good to shelter people from bad ideas. If you're worried they don't already know why they are bad ideas, you need to do a better job providing that information.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,956   +6,998
A lack fo moderation also means that anyone can call out the idocy pouring out of russia's PR departments, but hey, since when has the EU called out for the truth? They're terrified of the word "russia" now. The nanny state cant allow too much dissing of russia if germany ever wants to get those gas lines back after all!
 

brucek

Posts: 1,348   +2,023
Free speech? Where in US? It was lost many years ago. Don't believe me try to say the "N" word anywhere (without being a afro american).
Now that is a real democracy and freedom of speech.
Wrong. There is nowhere in the US that you will be prosecuted criminally for saying that, even as pretty naked hate speech. More generally, it is broadcast on public airwaves every day in popular music and other forms. The US government will protect your free speech.

What you are talking about is how other free US citizens might regard and treat you if you do use it in a way they don't like. Which is their right to do, just as its your right to say.

This is the balance I prefer - no prior restraint, no criminal prosecution, but individual responsibility and accountability to benefit or suffer from one's own actions.

 

toooooot

Posts: 1,827   +983
How would such a thing be possible? Social media doesn't fall for propaganda so easily. The truth always beats lies and users consistently access information from multiple sources
Most people in Russia are supporting war. They dont know about their soldiers killing families with tied hands.
Propoganda is a mighty weapon that works on stupid people.
And unfortunately in this world there lots of them.
Also, Russia does spend billions on spreading lies.
That is actually something very common to Russia, lies I mean.
Her entire history, victories, and heroes are for the most part made up.
I am fascinated with Russian history for this reason.
The problem with Tweater is that before Musk, Russia had no problem spreading lies,
just like it does on FB and all popular platforms. They will not have troubles spreading
lies now. Shame, shame there is a nation with a maniac that threatens with nuclear war
while sending his men to kill and rape their neighbors.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,564   +6,868
Wrong. There is nowhere in the US that you will be prosecuted criminally for saying that, even as pretty naked hate speech. More generally, it is broadcast on public airwaves every day in popular music and other forms. The US government will protect your free speech.

What you are talking about is how other free US citizens might regard and treat you if you do use it in a way they don't like. Which is their right to do, just as its your right to say.

This is the balance I prefer - no prior restraint, no criminal prosecution, but individual responsibility and accountability to benefit or suffer from one's own actions.

Completely false. California has sent at least nine people to jail for "hate speech", I.e. anything that insults someone other that straight white Christians and/or conservatives. Oh, there weren't any actual laws against it but they just made some up on the spot.
 

takaozo

Posts: 514   +812
Completely false. California has sent at least nine people to jail for "hate speech", I.e. anything that insults someone other that straight white Christians and/or conservatives. Oh, there weren't any actual laws against it but they just made some up on the spot.
That is if you don't get shot on spot.
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,278   +1,558
If people are too stupid to figure out the facts, they should be denied use of the internet. We don't need nannies censoring speech to "protect us from misinformation" - we can figure out the BS on our own.
 

Tantor

Posts: 390   +660
Wrong. There is nowhere in the US that you will be prosecuted criminally for saying that, even as pretty naked hate speech. More generally, it is broadcast on public airwaves every day in popular music and other forms. The US government will protect your free speech.

What you are talking about is how other free US citizens might regard and treat you if you do use it in a way they don't like. Which is their right to do, just as its your right to say.

This is the balance I prefer - no prior restraint, no criminal prosecution, but individual responsibility and accountability to benefit or suffer from one's own actions.

It has nothing to do with 'free' US citizens.

You WILL be investigated by your HR department. Then you WILL be given a lecture. If you continue, you could lose your job.

I had an Arabic friend who started a class action suit against a supervisor because he called him a 'towel head'. They sued the company for $3 million and almost got it. Needless to say, the supervisor was demoted.

I was astounded, to say the least. But you learn by watching.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,348   +2,023
Cases/links please to either the jailed or shot on the spot (by police) for using the n-word?

And btw even if it really did happen 9 times - in a state of 39 million - that does not make free speech "completely false". It means 9 police officers screwed up badly and in the long run the falsely imprisoned is likely to end up with a nice settlement over it.

I know there's sources out there trying to completely screw with people's sense of proportion, but keep in mind there really are countries out there where you can be easily and routinely jailed for saying something the head honcho doesn't like. The US isn't one of them.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,348   +2,023
It has nothing to do with 'free' US citizens.

You WILL be investigated by your HR department. Then you WILL be given a lecture. If you continue, you could lose your job.

I had an Arabic friend who started a class action suit against a supervisor because he called him a 'towel head'. They sued the company for $3 million and almost got it. Needless to say, the supervisor was demoted.

I was astounded, to say the least. But you learn by watching.
This does bring up some more grey area points, although again, nothing we're talking about here involves jails or criminal prosecution.

In one form of this, the HR (or really, the company owner) is voluntarily choosing to demote or fire the racist because they want to be able to hire a large, diverse workforce and have them work together productively. That is a free US citizen acting in his own interest to hire the people he wants for his company. I have no problems at all here.

In another form, the racist company owner is actually willing to suffer the consequences of voluntarily choosing to cut themselves off from an entire race of employees, customers, suppliers, and investors all so he can enjoy saying crap like that. Here we do have a legal intervention that while he will not go to jail, there are state and federal civil regulations that could expose him to even more financial loss on top of the business impact, both directly as compensation to the victims who are told they must expect to suffer that treatment at their hands, and indirectly to the government as pure fines. There is where I start having more questions about the system particularly where it's not even all that clear there was actual malice behind anything. I wouldn't call that a free speech issue per se though, especially inside a work place shared by a large number of people.
 

emmzo

Posts: 811   +1,251
Yes, most people are gullible and contrarians and it's very alarming that a big chunk of western societies trust their government less than a murderous opressing regime. But whose fault is that when you limit free speech and impose minorities agendas on majorities with a fist? Any restrictive measure will make people act in defiance and the effect is turning them into what you try to prevent. And the real problem here is proper education, no amount of moderation can tackle that. I'm sorry, but if you live in the confort of a free democratic society, with all its problems and there are many, I admit, but you think Putin's Russia is so much better, you can't be helped.
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 144   +174
Yes, because Putin cares about anything twitter related...lol but what's old saying when someone cries wolf for no reason...The Sky is falling the sky is falling lol
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,285   +8,432
If people are too stupid to figure out the facts, they should be denied use of the internet.
On this topic, we "share" two different sets of facts. Accordingly, which one of us should be banned from the internet?

You're making a circular argument, since you can't figure out, who's too stupid to use the internet", unless they've been on it, and "impartially evaluated.. Since "impartially" doesn't exist in the real world, particularly in the political sector, it's a zero sum game.
 
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axiomatic13

Posts: 451   +543
Free speech? Where in US? It was lost many years ago. Don't believe me try to say the "N" word anywhere (without being a afro american).
Now that is a real democracy and freedom of speech.
Your wanting to be able to say the N-word says more about you than you apparently understand?
 

takaozo

Posts: 514   +812
Your wanting to be able to say the N-word says more about you than you apparently understand?
I'm so many miles away from US here in East Europe that I can say that word 120 times a minute without looking behind. But I ain't got who to say that word to. No African-Americans here. I understand quite well the connotations of this word and I'm not a member of any white, nazy, fascist, communist or any other organization.
It was just and fact related to freedom of speech. But please tell me if a non-white guy say to an white guy "whitey" , is that considered and offence?