The new CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk, came under fire from French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday for abandoning the fight against COVID misinformation while scaling back content regulation on the network.
In light of the recent spike in coronavirus infections in his country, Macron said that the issue of false COVID information should not be ignored but rather addressed head-on.
While on a state visit to the US, Macron told ABC, “I think this is a significant issue. “The precise opposite—more regulation—is what I advocate strongly, to just one example.”
Such safeguards, according to him, have been put into place and are being upheld in France and “at the European level.”
Macron maintained that while freedom of expression is still crucial, “there are obligations and limits” to what may be published and shared.
The French president declared, “You cannot walk into the streets and have a racist or anti-Semitic statement.”
“You cannot endanger another person’s life. Democracy forbids the justification of violence.”
Macron’s idea of free speech within reasonable bounds differs greatly from Musk’s libertarian viewpoint, who calls himself a “free speech absolutist” and has fired many of the Twitter staffers in charge of content control.
Musk has started allowing people who were previously banned from Twitter for spreading false information, like former US president Donald Trump, to rejoin the service.
Additionally, it was discovered this week that Twitter no longer enforces a restriction barring people from disseminating false information regarding Covid-19 and vaccine efficacy.
The wealthy Musk has made no secret of the fact that he vehemently opposes any health limitations put in place to combat the epidemic, particularly if such limits result in the temporary closure of his California Tesla factory.
“It is fascist to tell someone they cannot leave their home and that they will be jailed if they do. This is not democratic nor free “During an analyst conference call in April 2020, Musk lost his cool.
Musk received a stern warning from the European Union on Wednesday, informing him that he must take “substantially” more steps to combat misinformation, such as stepping up content monitoring, in order to be in compliance with EU legislation.
Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner for the internal market, stated that Twitter still has “vast work ahead of it.”