EU And UK Warn Musk over Free Speech Elon, There Are Rules

As Elon Musk prepares to take over Twitter, promising to “convert” it into a platform for free expression, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom have issued a blunt warning about the site’s tolerance of hate speech. Concerned that Twitter would become a breeding ground for abusive and dangerous remarks, the EU and UK have notified Musk that he must comply with the EU’s Digital Services Act and the UK’s online safety bill, or face penalties ranging from fines to a complete ban. “Everyone is welcome. We are available, but only on our terms. At the very least, we know what to say to him: ‘Elon, there are certain ground rules.’ You are welcome, but please follow our guidelines. Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, told the Financial Times, “It’s not your regulations that will apply here.”

If Twitter enables speech that is in violation of these regulations, which are slated to take effect in 2024, the company may face penalties of up to 6% of worldwide revenue or outright bans if instances persist. Musk, who calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” has spoken out against banning users for hate speech, claiming that individuals should be able to voice their thoughts and that severe situations should be dealt with a short suspension. Users have quickly pointed out that Musk has a shady history with the notion of free speech, including canceling a blogger’s Tesla purchase for an unpleasant article, and Tesla has frequently sought to force consumers to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to access particular software.

Elon Musk’s unimaginable fortune has provided him with several advantages, including the ability to establish a private spaceflight firm and develop a magnet-powered vacuum tube supersonic transit system between Los Angeles and San Francisco — all while being taken seriously. The opportunity to be tremendously petty is maybe the finest bonus of being Elon Musk. After writing an open letter to Musk regarding the poorly organized launch event for the Tesla Motors Model X (the newest automobile from Musk’s electric vehicle firm), Californian venture entrepreneur Stewart Alsop discovered that to his cost, he claims.

Tesla’s Model X is unveiled by Elon Musk in September, according to the Guardian. The letter, titled “Dear @ElonMusk: you should be ashamed of yourself,” listed Alsop’s complaints about the event: it started late, it focused too much on safety, and it was so crowded that even people like Alsop, who had put down a $5,000 deposit on the car (which was supposed to ship in 2013, but only delivered 208 cars by the end of 2015), didn’t get a chance to test drive it.

“It would still be wonderful if you showed some dignity and apologized to the individuals that believe in this product,” Alsop said. Instead, Musk, according to Alsop, canceled his pre-order. “I also hear that you are not comfortable having my own a Tesla car and have cancelled my order for a Tesla Model X,” Alsop wrote in a follow-up post titled “Banned by Tesla!” Alsop described his phone conversation with Musk as follows: “I also hear that you are not comfortable having my own a Tesla car and have cancelled my order for a Tesla Model X.” “I must also acknowledge that being banned by Tesla has taken me by surprise,” he continued. When I made a blog article titled ‘My Car Makes Me Feel Stoopid,’ the CEO of BMW refused to return the car.”