European Commissioner Thierry Breton stated Friday that Twitter is pulling out of the European Union’s (EU) 2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation. Breton went on to remind the platform that they still have an obligation to follow the Digital Service Act (DSA) taking effect in August.
The Code of Practice is a voluntary agreement with self-regulatory standards, aiming to prevent disinformation on media platforms. There are 34 signatories, which include Microsoft, Meta, TikTok and Google. Signatories have six months to implement the measures, some of which include demonetization for “purveyors of misinformation” and transparency of political advertising. However, the new rules outlined in the DSA create legal obligations for Twitter beyond the voluntary commitments create by the Code of Practice.
The DSA is intended to reform and build upon the e-Commerce Directive to strengthen the obligations of media platforms. Some of the legal obligations in the act include the swift removal of illegal content and materials, rules to allow online marketplace sellers to be traced, updates on intermediary liability for third party content, limits on targeted advertisements and enhanced protection of minors. Companies falling under the scope of the act are required to conduct yearly assessments of the risks that their platforms pose to safety, health and freedom of expression. Failure to adhere to the act will result in heavy fines of up to 6% of global annual turnover and temporary bans. Eight social media platforms currently fall under the scope of the DSA: Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter. The DSA also applies to five online marketplaces including Amazon, and search engines such as Google.
Twitter has yet to respond to Breton’s statement.