EU official says Twitter abandons bloc’s voluntary pact against disinformation

Category : Technology/Innovations

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. combat / kəmˈbæt / (v.) – to try to stop something bad or harmful from happening or getting worse

    The responsible use of social media will help us combat online crimes.

  2. obligation / ˌɒb lɪˈgeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the condition of being forced to do something because of a law or duty

    As a business owner, it is your obligation to pay taxes.

  3. automated / ˈɔ təˌmeɪ tɪd / (adj.) – operated by machines or computers rather than people

    Automated payments make shopping easier.

  4. moderation / ˌmɒd əˈreɪ ʃən / (n.) – the process of reviewing or checking content that's added to a website and making sure it's not illegal, inappropriate, or offensive

    Our team does content moderation for the company’s website. We delete content that doesn’t meet our website rules.

  5. live up to (something) / lɪv ʌp tə / (phrasal v.) – to fulfill something, such as an expectation, obligation, etc., that’s expected from someone

    The people are expecting that the newly elected president would live up to his promises.


Read the text below.

Twitter has dropped out of a voluntary European Union agreement to combat online disinformation, a top EU official said.

European Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted that Twitter had pulled out of the EU’s disinformation “code of practice” that other major social media platforms have pledged to support. But he added that Twitter’s “obligation” remained, referring to the EU’s tough new digital rules taking effect in August.

“You can run but you can’t hide,” Breton said.

San Francisco-based Twitter responded with an automated reply, as it does to most press inquiries, and did not comment.

The decision to abandon the commitment to fighting false information appears to be the latest move by billionaire owner Elon Musk to loosen the reins on the social media company after he bought it last year. He has rolled back previous anti-misinformation rules, and has thrown its verification system and content-moderation policies into chaos as he pursues his goal of turning Twitter into a digital town square.

Google, TikTok, Microsoft and Facebook and Instagram parent Meta are among those that have signed up to the EU code, which requires companies to measure their work on combating disinformation and issue regular reports on their progress.

There were already signs Twitter wasn’t prepared to live up to its commitments. The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s executive arm, blasted Twitter earlier this year for failing to provide a full first report under the code, saying it provided little specific information and no targeted data.

Breton said that under the new digital rules that incorporate the code of practice, fighting disinformation will become a “legal obligation.”

“Our teams will be ready for enforcement,” he said.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you think Elon Musk’s decision to pull out of the EU’s disinformation code of practice will have an effect on Twitter users? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What do you think led Elon Musk to make that decision (ex. he thinks that the code isn’t effective, he wants users to have more freedom)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you think social media companies all around the world should support the EU’s disinformation code of practice? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, how important is it to combat online disinformation? Discuss.
Category : Technology/Innovations