Arcom reminds Twitter of its legal obligations in terms of monitoring online content

The recent restructuring of Twitter since its takeover by Elon Musk raises many questions. In a letter dated Friday, November 18, and addressed to the European headquarters of the social network, in Dublin, the president of Arcom, Roch-Olivier Maistre, expressed his “deep concern” after the haemorrhage of departures affecting the company acquired for 44 billion dollars (43.1 billion euros approximately) by the founder of Tesla.

The French audiovisual regulator is therefore wondering about “Twitter’s ability to maintain a secure environment” for its users, explains Mr. Maistre, who recalls that the firm with the blue bird decided, at the beginning of November, to part with half of its employees, “i.e. 3,700 people”and D’“about 75%” of its service providers. The managing director of the French subsidiary, Damien Viel, himself announced his departure in a tweet on Sunday.

Twitter had claimed, in a questionnaire published by the CSA (predecessor of Arcom) last year, to employ 1,867 people to “the application of [ses] policies and content moderation”that is “more than a third” of its “global workforce”.

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The European Union may sanction Twitter

The social network, which had 5.6 million unique visitors per day in France in September, according to Médiametrie, must in particular “fight against the manipulation of information” under a law adopted at the end of 2018. This provides that the giants of the Web set up reporting systems and report on their efforts to the Regulatory Authority for Audiovisual and Digital Communication (Arcom) , who can make recommendations to them. Twitter is, moreover, “subject to all obligations of means” to combat hateful content, provided for by law for confidence in the digital economy.

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If he cannot sanction the platform, the regulator is responsible for ensuring the proper application of these legal obligations. Arcom thus asks the social network, by “November 24 at the latest”from him ” to confirm “ that it is ” able “ to deal with it and “to inform him of the short-term development of human and technological resources” who are dedicated to it.

The regulator warns of wanting “more broadly to ensure” of Twitter’s involvement “in the implementation” of the European Digital Services Act (DSA), otherwise more restrictive. This historic regulation, which Twitter will have to apply around the summer of 2023, authorizes the European Commission to impose fines on platforms that can amount to up to 6% of their global turnover, or even to ban them from operating. in the European Union in the event of repeated serious infringements.

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Le Monde with AFP and Reuters

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