EU frets over Twitter job losses as hate speech grows

The European Union on Thursday expressed concern about layoffs at Twitter since its takeover by Elon Musk, after the reported closure of the tech agency’s lobbying workplace in Brussels.

“We’ve got considerations concerning the choices to have much less and fewer individuals working on the firm,” EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders informed reporters in Dublin, the place Twitter and different US tech teams have their European headquarters.

“Once we talk about hate speech, I’m positive we’d like human assets,” he added after a gathering with unidentified representatives from Twitter.

A brand new EU analysis confirmed the variety of hate speech notifications reviewed by main social media firms inside 24 hours has fallen from 90 p.c in 2020, to 81 p.c in 2021 and 64 p.c in 2022.

The numbers confirmed solely YouTube improved its elimination price for offensive content material — as outlined by an EU code of conduct — whereas Twitter and different tech firms’ efforts fell.

Considerations at Twitter’s post-takeover course intensified Thursday with the Monetary Occasions reporting that the corporate has dismantled its Brussels workplace, following the departure of executives who have been in command of efforts to adjust to the EU’s on-line guidelines.

“It is a further concern, as a result of to us to have a workforce devoted to the relation with the European establishments is essential,” Reynders stated reacting to the FT report.

Nevertheless, the official added he was “optimistic by nature” and had been given commitments that Twitter’s workforce in Dublin would step into the Brussels function.

Tech entrepreneur Musk moved to chop round half of Twitter’s 7,500 workforce, together with many workers tasked with combating disinformation, following his acquisition of the agency final month.

Whereas in Dublin, Reynders is because of meet with representatives from Meta, the proprietor of Fb, on Friday.

Mark Zuckerberg’s social media behemoth stated this month that it plans to put off greater than 11,000 workers amid an promoting stoop.

Each Meta and Twitter’s EU operations are based mostly in Eire, together with these of Google, Apple and Microsoft, making Eire’s information safety company the lead regulator chargeable for holding them to account in Europe.

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