Elon Musk’s Twitter ‘chicken will fly by EU guidelines,’ Brussels warns after billionaire takes management

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The European Fee has reminded Elon Musk that he should observe EU guidelines following the affirmation that he has taken management of Twitter.

“In Europe, the chicken will fly by our guidelines,” Thierry Breton, the EU Commissioner for the Inside Market, stated on the social media platform on Friday morning.

Just a few hours earlier, Musk tweeted to say “the chicken has been freed,” a reference to Twitter’s brand.

On Thursday evening, two individuals acquainted with the deal stated Elon Musk had taken management of Twitter and ousted the CEO, chief monetary officer and the corporate’s high lawyer.

The sources wouldn’t say if all of the paperwork for the deal, initially valued at $44 billion (€43 billion), had been signed, or if the deal has closed. However they stated Musk is in command of the social media platform and has fired CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and Chief Authorized Counsel Vijaya Gadde. Neither individual needed to be recognized due to the delicate nature of the deal.

Bloomberg reported Musk will change into CEO and also will reverse lifetime bans on Twitter customers. Musk initially introduced his plans to carry the lifetime Twitter bans in Could, sparking fierce criticism as it will these banned on the social media platform embody QAnon loyalists, COVID-19 deniers, neo-Nazis, and former US president Donald Trump.

The EU commissioner posted a link to a video printed in Could exhibiting him with the Tesla CEO in his automotive manufacturing unit in Austin, Texas. Musk stated EU digital regulation was “precisely aligned” along with his personal pondering and he agreed “with all the pieces” Breton had stated on the measure which offers with platforms’ obligations to reasonable content material.

The deal completion comes simply hours earlier than a deadline set by a Delaware choose to finalise the deal on Friday. The choose had threatened to schedule a trial if no settlement was reached.

The most important personnel strikes had been extensively anticipated and nearly actually are the primary of many main modifications the mercurial Tesla CEO will make.

Musk privately clashed with Agrawal in April, instantly earlier than deciding to make a bid for the corporate, in keeping with textual content messages later revealed in courtroom filings.

At about the identical time, he used Twitter to criticise Gadde, the corporate’s high lawyer. His tweets had been adopted by a wave of harassment of Gadde from different Twitter accounts.

For Gadde, an 11-year Twitter worker who additionally heads public coverage and security, the harassment included racist and misogynistic assaults, along with requires Musk to fireplace her. On Thursday, after she was fired, the harassing tweets lit up as soon as once more.

Musk’s modifications might be geared toward growing Twitter’s subscriber base and income.

What else is Musk altering?

In his first huge transfer earlier on Thursday, Musk tried to assuage leery Twitter advertisers, saying that he’s shopping for the platform to assist humanity and doesn’t need it to change into a “free-for-all hellscape”.

The message gave the impression to be geared toward addressing issues amongst advertisers – Twitter’s chief income – that Musk’s plans to advertise free speech by slicing again on moderating content material will open the floodgates to extra on-line toxicity and drive away customers.

“The rationale I acquired Twitter is as a result of it is very important the way forward for civilisation to have a standard digital city sq., the place a variety of beliefs may be debated in a wholesome method, with out resorting to violence,” Musk wrote in an uncharacteristically lengthy message for the Tesla CEO, who sometimes tasks his ideas in one-line tweets.

He continued: “There may be at present nice hazard that social media will splinter into far proper wing and much left-wing echo chambers that generate extra hate and divide our society”.

Musk has beforehand expressed distaste for promoting and Twitter’s dependence on it, suggesting extra emphasis on different enterprise fashions resembling paid subscriptions that gained’t permit huge firms to dictate coverage on how social media operates. However on Thursday, he assured advertisers he desires Twitter to be “probably the most revered promoting platform on the earth”.

‘Heat and welcoming to all’

The observe is a shift from Musk’s place that Twitter is unfairly infringing on free speech rights by blocking misinformation or graphic content material, stated Pinar Yildirim, affiliate professor of promoting on the College of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Faculty.

Nevertheless it’s additionally a realisation that having no content material moderation is unhealthy for enterprise, placing Twitter liable to shedding advertisers and subscribers, she stated.

“You do not need a spot the place shoppers simply merely are bombarded with issues they don’t wish to hear about, and the platform takes no duty,” Yildirim added.

Friday’s deadline to shut the deal was ordered by the Delaware Chancery Courtroom in early October. 

It’s the newest step in a battle that started in April with Musk signing a deal to accumulate Twitter, then tried to again out of it, main Twitter to sue the Tesla CEO to drive him to undergo with the acquisition. 

Musk strolled into the corporate’s San Francisco headquarters Wednesday carrying a porcelain sink, modified his Twitter profile to “Chief Twit,” and tweeted “Coming into Twitter HQ — let that sink in!”

In a single day the New York Inventory Change notified traders that it’s going to droop buying and selling in shares of Twitter earlier than the opening bell on Friday, in anticipation of the corporate going personal beneath Musk.

Musk is anticipated to talk to Twitter workers straight Friday if the deal is finalised, in keeping with an inner memo cited in a number of media retailers. 

Regardless of inner confusion and low morale tied to fears of layoffs or a dismantling of the corporate’s tradition and operations, Twitter leaders this week have not less than outwardly welcomed Musk’s arrival and messaging.

Prime gross sales government Sarah Personette, the corporate’s chief buyer officer, stated she had a “nice dialogue” with Musk on Wednesday and appeared to endorse his Thursday message to advertisers.

“Our continued dedication to model security for advertisers stays unchanged,” Personette tweeted Thursday. “Trying ahead to the long run!”

Musk’s obvious enthusiasm about visiting Twitter headquarters this week stood in sharp distinction to one among his earlier ideas: that the constructing ought to be became a homeless shelter as a result of so few workers truly labored there.

The Washington Publish reported final week that Musk advised potential traders that he plans to chop three-quarters of Twitter’s 7,500 staff when he turns into the proprietor. The newspaper cited paperwork and unnamed sources acquainted with the deliberation.

Musk has spent months deriding Twitter’s “spam bots” and making generally contradictory pronouncements about Twitter’s issues and easy methods to repair them. However he has shared a number of concrete particulars about his plans for the social media platform.

Thursday’s observe to advertisers exhibits a newfound emphasis on promoting income, particularly a necessity for Twitter to offer extra “related adverts” — which usually means focused adverts that depend on accumulating and analysing customers’ private data.

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