Twitter has closed its entire Brussels headquarters, media sources claim. This now raises concerns about the firm’s capacity to comply with upcoming content moderation requirements in the European Union (EU) intended to regulate large tech companies.
The Financial Times first reported that Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, who had been in charge of Twitter’s digital strategy in Europe, had resigned from their positions with the company last week.
Laid off or Not?
After Elon Musk’s takeover a month ago, hundreds of workers were let go, but the two of them made it through.
But based on The Guardian’s recent article, it is not clear whether Mozer and La Nasa were terminated or voluntarily resigned in response to Musk’s demand that they work “extremely hardcore” hours or else quit.
There was also no information on whether or not Twitter was moving out of its office in the European capital, a major hub for global digital regulation.
Twitter fired about half of its 7,500 employees in the first wave of layoffs, disbanding whole departments, including human rights, machine learning, and algorithmic ethics.
Stephen Turner, the head of the Brussels office, was one of the hundreds who lost their jobs.
On Nov. 14, he announced his retirement from Twitter after working for the company for six years. He said it had been an incredible journey to establish the Brussels office and grow their stellar group of employees.
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The disbanding of the company’s staff in Brussels has led some to wonder whether or not the corporation can uphold the EU’s new regulations. This law aims to limit hate speech and curb the dominance of large tech companies.
Twitter’s European headquarters are located in Dublin, where EU officials are claimed to have numerous connections, despite the fact that this office has also been downsized by 50%.
A representative for the European Commission said, “I can confirm that we have active and ongoing contacts with Twitter (and other platforms) on different topics.”
Twitter vs. EU Legislation
Twitter’s capacity to comply with significant EU legislation impacting major digital businesses has been assured by senior executives, despite recent departures from the Brussels office.
The announcement was made after the commission showed that Twitter and other digital firms took longer investigating accusations of hate speech, The Guardian reported.
The EU executive and the largest social media firms agreed on a code of conduct in 2016, with the companies promising to review most hate speech reports within 24 hours.
Twitter only evaluated 54% of alerts within 24 hours over a seven-week period this year, reflecting a general deterioration in performance by most signatories to the code.
The EU’s Digital Markets Act, a historic rule designed to limit the dominance of giant platforms, went into effect this month, adding yet another regulatory burden for the corporation to solve.
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Written by Trisha Kae Andrada
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