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‘We Will Have Control’ Over Elon Musk’s Twitter Algorithms, EU Privacy Commissioner Claims

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: November 19, 2022
The EU Privacy Commissioner says it will have control and access over Twitter's algorithms.
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton in September in Brussels, Belgium. Breton told the media the EU “will have control” over Elon Musk’s Twitter algorithms so that “people will no longer be able to say rubbish” if it wants to operate in Europe. (Image: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

A high ranking European Union official has boasted that the government “will have control” over Elon Musk’s Twitter if it wants to remain in service in Europe, making it clear that censorship is anything but a conspiracy theory.

The comments were made by Privacy Commissioner Theirry Breton in comments to a French broadcaster, Bloomberg reported on Nov. 18. 

Breton lamented that Musk has fired much of the company’s leftist old guard upon taking the reins of his $44 billion acquisition, “He is in the process of reducing a certain number of moderators, but he will have to increase them in Europe.”


The Commish made it clear that only a regime of censorship would be allowed in the EU if he has his way when he blared that Musk “will have to open his algorithms.” 

“We will have control, we will have access,” Breton trumpeted further.

His comments took on a darker context when he finished the sentence with, “People will no longer be able to say rubbish.”

Bloomberg explains that Breton’s iron fist has teeth. The Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) requires tech companies moderate and take down content in accordance with the government’s dictates on penalty of a 6 percent annual sales fine or an outright ban.

Breton added, “He [Musk] knows perfectly well what the conditions are for Twitter to continue operating in Europe.”

On Nov. 16, Breton tweeted a thread about how the DSA came into effect the same day, stating “Social media platforms will no longer behave like they are ‘too big to care’.”

In the monologue, Breton listed a four point plan that social media companies would have to abide by:

  1. Disclosure of numbers of their active users for the purposes of reach classification
  2. Compliance with content moderation and demonstrating they toe the establishment narrative
  3. Installation of a single trigger method for users to snitch on each other
  4. The appointment of member state “Digital Services Coordinators,” which will act in the same vein as the Chinese Communist Party’s Party Committee members installed in various companies and workplaces to ensure compliance with the regime’s edicts.

“Everyone is welcome to do business in the [EU], but they will have to follow our rules,” Breton said.

And yet for Musk — a self-described “free speech absolutist” — in May, Elon told Breton in a propaganda video posted on Twitter that the two were “very much on the same page” when it came to the pending DSA’s requirements as his deal to buy Twitter was still going through the motions.

“I think I agree with everything you said,” Musk added.

As for the hope that the Musk regime will be an improvement on the subject of free speech over the previous socialists, this supposition appears to be in doubt.

On Nov. 18 Musk put the world on notice that although “freedom of speech” was “new Twitter policy,” that doesn’t mean that if you say something the central censors disapprove of that other people will be able to read it.

“New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach. Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter.  You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet,” Musk stated.

In better news, on Saturday, Nov. 19, Musk reinstated the account of former President Donald Trump after a Nov. 18 Twitter poll showed the majority had voted in favor of lifting his long standing muzzle.

In a poll with more than 15 million votes, 51.8 percent casted to reinstate Trump.

Musk stated that more than 134 million people had seen the poll.