Exclusive-EU industry chief Breton to hold video call with Twitter's Musk - EU official

FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his security detail depart the company’s local office in Washington, U.S. January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union industry chief Thierry Breton will hold a video call with Twitter owner Elon Musk on Tuesday to discuss two key EU tech initiatives, a European Commission official said, ramping up pressure on the company amid concerns it may fall short on compliance efforts.

The two held a video call two months ago during which Breton warned Musk of "huge work ahead" for Twitter to apply transparent use policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech.

Such obligations are set out in the EU's Digital Services Act, which entered into force in November last year targeting online platforms which could face fines up to 6% of their global turnover for breaches.

There are concerns whether Twitter can live up to its obligations under the EU's Digital Services Act after Musk cut thousands of jobs since he took over the company.

"The call is to discuss Twitter's implementation of the Digital Services Act and its implementation of the Code of Practice on disinformation," the official said.

Companies which signed up to the Code of Practice on disinformation are due to issue reports on their efforts next week.

A Twitter program that was crucial for outside researchers studying state-backed disinformation campaigns has stalled after Musk's takeover. The program was a key plank of Twitter's plan to comply with the Digital Services Act, a former company executive previously told Reuters.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop, Jane Merriman and Jonathan Oatis)

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