A MSNBC guest suggested Friday that the European Union could bring “sanctions” against Twitter following the suspension of eight journalists on the platform Thursday.
Twitter suspended a number of journalists, alleging they were violating rules against doxxing, with CEO Elon Musk saying the suspensions would last for seven days. The bans came after Twitter suspended the @ElonJet account following an incident where an alleged stalker reportedly blocked a car with Musk’s two-year-old son inside.
The social media platform issued a new rule that prohibits sharing “real-time” information about a person’s location. (RELATED: Corporate Media Rages Over Elon Musk’s Suspension Of Journalists)
“Just a couple of weeks ago, the EU’s industry commissioner, Thierry Breton, did threaten to ban Twitter and said so in a conversation with Elon Musk. He confirmed it again at a Politico event, where he just sat a couple of feet away from me … and said ‘absolutely, if you flout the EU’s rules or the rules on privacy, the upcoming rules on content regulation, you will be banned in the EU,’” Politico Europe editor-at-large Nicholas Vinocour told host Katy Tur, adding that Breton said the EU could send auditors to monitor Twitter.
“So, you know, the penalties in this case are big fines,” Vincour continued. “There are existing rules, privacy rules, that carry potentially immense fines and then there are rules that have been agreed but not been enforced on content regulation, and that are coming online next year, and where Twitter could face sanctions that the commissioner described.”
Vinocour noted that both Germany and France raised concerns about the banning of journalists, and noted that Mastodon, a competitor to Twitter, had its account suspended.
The EU passed the Digital Services Act earlier this year, with some experts noting that it could affect freedom of speech in the United States. EU Commissioner of the Internal Market Thierry Breton reportedly threatened to ban Twitter during a Nov. 30 video conference unless Musk, who sought to restore free speech to the platform, agreed to implement certain policies.
“You know, Europe has a problem with authoritarian regimes. We’ve got one right here in Hungary, and we have issues with persecution of journalists, where journalists are silenced and sidelined and that’s why they have come up with some of these protections they’re working on,” Vinocour said. “And this is kind of a case in point, about what can happen when there’s unfettered control over what should be a public space.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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