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Thierry Breton on Social Media Impact of Hamas Attacks

At a press conference, the European Commissioner justified the pressure from Brussels on the platforms.
“The bosses of these platforms can no longer hide, at least not in the European Union.” A little over a week after the Hamas attacks, European Commissioner Thierry Breton returned this Monday to the measures taken by Brussels against social networks.

Singled out for the lack of moderation, the main platforms were entitled to a letter of reprimand from the European Union, and even the opening of an investigation in the case of Twitter.

Less than two months after the implementation of the European text to regulate social networks (DSA), the attacks in Israel and the violent images that resulted on the internet were the first large-scale test of its application.

“There will be a before and after these attacks of October 7 on social networks as there was a before after September 11” assures Thierry Breton at a press conference.

“Very professional exchanges” with Twitter

“Our letters had a dual objective: to clearly explain the measures taken by the platforms and to point out in the context of this tragedy that everyone has a responsibility in the European Union,” he insisted.

On the more specific question of Twitter, Thierry Breton indicates that he “had very professional discussions with the teams” of the social network “who quickly responded to us”. “We nevertheless considered it necessary to carry out an in-depth investigation into the measures taken in this context,” he added.

The owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, did not fail to mock Brussels on this issue, also deciding that violent images could be of “public interest” in the name of freedom of expression.

“The DSA fully preserves freedom of expression, but it preserves it within the framework of the law: freedom of expression does not mean that one can utter anti-Semitic remarks in the digital space, any more than in public spaces” replied Thierry Breton this Monday.

The European Commissioner underlines that “Tiktok and Twitter announced that they had deleted hundreds of accounts after the attacks”. “We see that they are on alert and that is a good thing,” he continues, nevertheless promising to “check if these measures are sufficient.”

This article is originally published on bfmtv.com

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