EU vs. Musk – I Need Some Popcorn

It **appears** that Elon Musk is going to take Twitter private. We have no clue what the result of that will be, but it might mean a more wild, wild west version of Twitter. He says that he wants less content moderation, for example.

This weekend the EU appears to have agreed to the framework of the Digital Services Act (DSA), which plans to put unprecedented restrictions on online content.

It seems like these two goals are at odds.

Of course, Musk could choose to pull out of Europe, but revenue-wise, that doesn’t seem wise and it will certainly open up an opportunity for others to fill the void.

The DSA will prohibit targeting consumers based on gender, ethnicity or sexual preference.

It will also ban dark patterns, a topic for an entire blog post.

These might not bother Elon much.

However, it also requires platforms to incorporate an emergency mechanism to disclose the steps they are taking to censor disinformation. He might not like that.

Fines max out at 6 percent of global revenue for a first offense (about $200 million for Twitter, PER OFFENSE) and more for repeated offenses.

It also provides a mechanism for users to sue platforms in court and new protections for minors. It also provides more enforcement by the European Commission for large platforms like Twitter.

Here is a table of specific requirements by category and size of provider.

Musk has a tradition of ignoring regulations, but that has not always worked out well for him. I don’t think the EU will take kindly to that strategy.

Still, this is definitely time for popcorn.

Other countries are looking at similar restrictions and this could be a framework for them.

Credit: Computing and The EU Commission

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