EU goes to war with Zuckerberg and Musk over Hamas attack with 24 hour warning
Thierry Breton, one of the European Union’s top brass, has issued a sharp-tongued warning to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg over pro-Hamas content appearing on his platforms.
Mr Breton, who commands the role of European Commissioner to the Internal Market, wrote a letter to Mr Zuckerberg urging him “to be very vigilant” in taking down terrorist content and hate speech as violence continues to grip Israel and Palestine.
Mr Breton claimed that the Commission had witnessed a “surge of illegal content and disinformation being disseminated in the EU”, which may mean social media platforms are violating the recently adopted Digital Services Act (DSA).
The DSA was instituted in August 2023, forcing Google, Meta, Amazon and other Silicon Valley tech giants to take responsibility for content being uploaded that’s illegal in the EU.
Failure to remove offending content, under the new rules, may see the big tech firms fined upwards of six percent of their annual revenue.
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The 68-year-old Parisian wrote: “I urgently invite you to ensure that your systems are effective.
“Needless to say, I also expect you to be in contact with the relevant law enforcement authorities and Europol, and ensure that you respond promptly to any requests.”
After making several other unrelated requests, including regarding “deepfakes”, he added: “I urge you to ensure a prompt, accurate and complete response to these requests (within the next 24 hours for the former)”.
Mr Breton’s engagement with Mr Zuckerberg is not the first time he’s made contact with billionaire tech bosses.
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On Tuesday, the former French Finance Minister wrote to Elon Musk to inform him that X, formerly known as Twitter, had similarly illegal content being shared on it.
Breton claimed that some of the content in question was flagged to X staff by “relevant authorities” however remained on the site.
Mr Musk, taking to X on Wednesday, came back to Mr Breton, asking him to point to the violating content publicly on the platform, stating that his company takes “actions in the open”.
Hitting back, the former Harvard professor said: “You are well aware of your users’ — and authorities’ — reports on fake content and glorification of violence.”
The Tesla and SpaceX boss said to another X user: “I still don’t know what they’re talking about!”
Taking to Instagram, Mr Zuckerberg branded Hamas’ attacks “pure evil” and added: “The widespread suffering that has resulted is devastating. My focus remains on the safety of our employees and their families in Israel and the region.”
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