Twitter abandons disinformation pledge, may be tossed out of Europe

Twitter has walked away from the EU's voluntary code of standards and practices regarding the spread of disinformation. However, that doesn't release the social media company from obeying a law set to go into effect this August. In this BBC article, an EU official is quoted stating just that:

Thierry Breton, who is the EU's internal market commissioner, announced the news on Twitter – but warned the firm new laws would force compliance. "Obligations remain. You can run but you can't hide," he said. Twitter will be legally required to fight disinformation in the EU from 25 August, he said, adding: "Our teams will be ready for enforcement." Twitter has not confirmed its stance on the code or responded to a request for comment.

Musk's approach to content moderation has certainly been intentional, and while his bungled purchase of Twitter for $44B has certainly not been a visible success, maybe using the service to cater to dictators is his lemonade from lemons. This story on DailyKos certainly points that way:

As Reuters reports, it just so happens that Musk is in China today, negotiating with the same government that creates that disinformation, for an expansion of his factories in that country. Musk, in addition to supporting massive growth of Russian state-authored propaganda on Twitter, has also offered a "peace plan" that would hand large parts of Ukraine over to Russia. A year before the invasion Musk announced that he was hoping to open a factory and establish dealerships in Russia.

It's easy to view Musk's purchase of Twitter for $44B as a massive mistake; as an ego-driven move to seize control of a social media platform by a conspiracy-prone tyrant whose social skills are considerably less than those of a rotting stump. But Musk may well see the whole thing as a large investment in his future. Owning Twitter gives him another way to show his friendliness to authoritarian dictators in countries where propaganda is the only news anyone is allowed to watch.

When it comes to spreading lies, he wants them to know that he's on their team.

Perhaps money was not enough to buy his way into some of these countries, but free propaganda and censoring opposition might be!