Meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Elon Musk: Twitter must make an effort to moderate content

Traveling to the United States, President Emmanuel Macron met Elon Musk, the new head of the social network Twitter on Friday in New Orleans. There was talk of “moderation” of content, with the company changing policy since the billionaire takeover.

The president said he had a discussion “clear and sincere” with Elon Musk. In the program “transparent terms of use, significant strengthening of content moderation and protection of freedom of expression: Twitter must make efforts to comply with European rules”emphasized Emmanuel Macron, who remembers “there is no place for terrorist and violent extremist content anywhere”.

We will work with Twitter to improve the protection of children online. Elon Musk confirmed that to me today. Let’s better protect our children online!

—Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) 3 December 2022

Elon Musk has confirmed Twitter’s participation in the Christchurch Call, as well as his willingness “to improve the protection of children online”. The French president and the quirky entrepreneur, also the head of Tesla, also discussed future green industry projects, particularly the manufacture of electric vehicles and batteries.

In line with our ambition to decarbonise and re-industrialize France and Europe, I spoke today @elonmusk on future green industry projects, especially on the manufacture of electric vehicles and batteries.

—Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) 3 December 2022

On Thursday, Ella Irwin, the new director of the trust and security department (“trust and security” in French, editor’s note) of Twitter had held her first press conference since taking over the network. Twitter now relies on automation for content moderation and prefers distribution restrictions to immediate removal of certain publications.

Twitter is also placing greater restrictions on hashtags that may cause abuse and search results in certain areas, including child exploitation, Irwin added. “The biggest change is that the team can now react faster and as aggressively as necessary”she said.

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The remarks come as researchers reported an increase in hate speech on the platform after Elon Musk announced an amnesty for some accounts suspended by the former management team.

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Ella Irwin explained that Elon Musk encourages the team to focus on security, the company’s priority, instead of worrying about user growth or revenue. “He emphasizes (that safety is paramount) every day, several times a day.” The company’s willingness and ability to moderate harmful and illegal content has been in doubt since Elon Musk fired half of his employees.

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