March 3, 2024
Why the EU Has Asked Elon Musk to Hire More Staff to Moderate Twitter
Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been told by EU regulators to hire more human moderators and fact-checkers to review posts on Twitter, according to a report. Musk has laid off more than half of Twitter's 7,500 workforce, while seeking cheaper methods to monitor tweets on the platform.

The European Union told Elon Musk to hire more human moderators and fact-checkers to review posts on Twitter, the Financial Times reported on Monday, citing four people familiar with talks between Musk, Twitter executives and regulators in Brussels.

The demand complicates Musk’s efforts to reorganise the loss-making business he acquired for $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,37,465 crore) in October. He has slashed more than half of Twitter’s 7,500 staff, including the entire trust and safety teams in some offices, while seeking cheaper methods to monitor tweets, the report said.

The massive layoffs have raised concerns if Twitter can comply with the EU’s Digital Services Act that requires Internet platforms to put specific measures in place against illegal content, before the law comes into full effect in early 2024.

Twitter has been leaning heavily on automation to moderate content, doing away with certain manual reviews. It does not employ fact checkers, unlike larger rival Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook and Instagram, the report said.

European Union industry chief Thierry Breton on a video call in January warned Musk of “huge work ahead” for Twitter to apply transparent use policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech.

On Tuesday, Musk said that the company had “a shot” at being cash flow-positive next quarter, as the social media platform has been aggressively cutting costs.

Musk, speaking at a Morgan Stanley investor conference that was webcast, said it was “startling” how poorly Twitter managed to make money off its messaging service.

The company has reduced its non-debt expenditures to $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 12,317 crore) from a projected $4.5 billion (roughly Rs. 36,951 crore) in 2023, helped by cutting its cloud services bill by 40 percent and closing one data centre, Musk said. Twitter has also laid off thousands of employees.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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