The European Union on Friday warned Elon Musk that Twitter could be subject to sanctions under a future media law after the “worrying” suspension of several journalists from the messaging platform.
The European Union commissioner Vera Jourova posted on Twitter that News about arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is worrying and The European Unions Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom and fundamental rights.
Jourova’s warning came backed by two pieces of European Union legislation, one of them not yet adopted.
The Digital Services Act (DSA) requires companies serving European web users to meet strict standards against manipulative algorithms, disinformation and other online harm.
It came into force on November 16 but is not fully applicable across the EU’s 27 countries until next March for the biggest online platforms – likely to include Twitter – and a year later for others.
Companies found in violation of the DSA could be fined sums equal to up to six per cent of the global revenue – or even banned from the huge EU market.
The EU’s Media Freedom Act (MFA) has been proposed by the European Commission but has not yet been made into law.
It seeks to protect media pluralism and independence in an increasingly digital space – ensuring media outlets are not unduly pressured and are able to remain editorially independent.
It foresees an EU body being set up which would monitor self-regulation by very large platforms and discuss issues such as “foreign information manipulation and interference”.
Twitter had suspended the accounts of more than a half-dozen journalists on Thursday who had been writing about the company and its new owner Elon Musk.
Some of the journalists had been tweeting about Twitter shutting down an @ElonJet account that tracked flights of the billionaire’s private jet and about versions of that account hosted on other social networks.
However twitter did not say why the reporters’ accounts were suspended.
Checks at Twitter showed account suspensions included reporters from CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post as well as independent journalists.
An account for Twitter rival Mastodon was also suspended, according to a report. Daily trust