X owner Elon Musk has denied reports that the platform may end up leaving the European Union market over the bloc’s censorious Digital Services Act (DSA).
X, formerly Twitter, has been in near-constant conflict with the European Commission since the tech billionaire took over the company last year.
Speaking to Business Insider, a source supposedly near the company has claimed that Musk is growing increasingly frustrated with the EU, as well as its so-called “digital enforcer”, Thierry Breton.
With Breton now regularly threatening both Musk and X with various fines and penalties for not implementing Brussels’ censorship regime, Business Insider claims he is now thinking of pulling the platform out of the European market entirely.
Musk is said to have repeatedly floated the idea of exiting the EU to employees over the past few weeks, saying the company could bloc European users from accessing the service to avoid having to deal with Eurocrats.
The move would also mean he would be unlikely to have to deal with Breton ever again, with the tech mogul said to have “lost patience” with him.
“He’s very quick to drop the hammer on anyone who he doesn’t like,” the insider said of Musk.
Yet another utterly false Business Insider. They are not a real publication.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 19, 2023
Writing on X, Musk has vehemently denied the EU exit claims,
“Yet another utterly false Business Insider,” he said. “They are not a real publication.”
The European Union has launched a preliminary investigation into Elon Musk’s X over claims it allowed “hate speech” and other forms of “illegal content” on the site. https://t.co/rt8lVgCjEj
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) October 13, 2023
Both Musk and Breton have recently taken their squabbling public. Breton published a letter demanding X implement EU censorship rules or face an investigation and possible sanctions.
Musk responded with hostility to the threats, demanding Breton prove X was not implementing EU regulations under the DSA.
The row escalated with the EU starting a preliminary investigation into X for supposedly breaking DSA rules, something that supposedly contributed to Musk’s desire to leave Europe entirely.
X is not the only Big Tech organisation that has been spooked by the European Commission’s thirst for digital regulation.
Although not as eye-catching as Breton’s brawl with Musk, other social media firms have opted to limit the release of new products into the European market.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta – the owner of Facebook and Instagram – has not launched its new Threads social media platform in the EU apparently due to concerns related to the DSA. The company is still showing no interest in offering the product in Europe.
Google has limited the expansion of its AI tools in the EU. American users have access to newly released search products that are unavailable within the European market.
Ireland’s Prime Minister has accused Elon Musk of “showboating” with his threats to challenge the country’s coming anti-hate-speech laws in court. https://t.co/6GM0OcQV6B
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 28, 2023