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EU warns Musk it may ban Twitter over concerns about content moderation

The European Union on Wednesday warned Elon Musk that Twitter faces fines, and possibly a ban, if it doesn’t beef up measures to moderate hate speech and misinformation. Thierry Breton, the EU's commissioner for digital policy, held a video call with Musk Wednesday to discuss Twitter’s preparedness for the Digital Services Act. The new rule, set to take effect next year, will require tech companies to better police their platforms for material that promotes terrorism, child sexual abuse, hate speech and commercial scams. Tesla CEO Elon Musk smiles as he addresses guests at the Offshore Northern Seas 2022 (ONS) meeting in Stavanger, Norway. (Carina Johansen / Getty Images) Breton said he was pleased to hear that Musk considers the EU rules "a sensible approach to implement on a worldwide basis.""But let's also be clear that there is still huge work ahead," Musk reportedly said, according to a readout of the call. "Twitter will have to implement transparent user policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech, tackle disinformation with resolve, and limit targeted advertising." ELON MUSK SAYS TWITTER ‘HAS INTERFERED IN ELECTIONS’ Musk’s takeover of Twitter late last month, following a chaotic legal saga, was praised by many – particularly those on the right – as a triumph for free speech. In recent weeks, he has reinstated some high-profile accounts and promised a "general amnesty" for those who were suspended for violating Twitter's content rules.Others have lamented Musk’s takeover, saying his stewardship over the past month has led to a rise in hate speech. FOX Business has reached out to Twitter for comment. In a Wednesday blog post, the company said "human safety" is its top priority and that its trust and safety team "continues its diligent work to keep the platform safe from hateful conduct, abusive behavior, and any violation of Twitter's rules."In the call Wednesday, Musk agreed to let the EU's Executive Commission carry out a "stress test" at Twitter's headquarters early next year to help the platform comply with the new rules ahead of schedule, the readout said. European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton speaks during a signature ceremony regarding the Chips Act at EU headquarters in Brussels, on Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo / AP Newsroom) That will also help the company prepare for an "extensive independent audit" as required by the new law, which is aimed at protecting internet users from illegal content and reducing the spread of harmful but legal material.Violations could result in huge fines of up to 6% of a company's annual global revenue or even a ban on operating in the European Union's single market.Along with European regulators, Musk risks running afoul of Apple and Google, which power most of the world's smartphones. Both have stringent policies against misinformation, hate speech and other misconduct. Apps must also meet certain data security, privacy and performance standards. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX BUSINESS APP Musk tweeted without providing evidence this week that Apple "threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won't tell us why." Apple hasn't commented on Musk's allegation. The Associated Press contributed to this report.