EU justice chief raises concerns over Twitter job cuts

EU justice chief raises concerns over Twitter job cuts

BRUSSELS Reuters - Twitter's decision to shut down its Brussels office and lay off thousands of employees is raising concerns about whether the company can comply with EU rules against illegal online content, EU justice chief Didier Reynders said on Thursday.

Reynders, who met with Twitter representatives at the European headquarters in Dublin, sought clarifications from the company, a European Commission official told Reuters.

The company's commitment to comply with EU rules was reiterated by Twitter representatives. The official said that Commissioner Reynders took note of it and asked Twitter to translate this commitment into concrete measures, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Digital Services Act, which will apply from February 2024, requires online platforms to do more to watch the internet for illegal content or risk fines as much as 6% of their annual global turnover.

After Elon Musk took over the company last month, Twitter fired top executives and enforced steep job cuts with little warning. Nearly half of the workforce -- around 3,700 employees -- have been laid off while more than 1,000 have resigned.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Twitter's last two employees are no longer with the company. The team, which interacted with Commission officials on policy and regulatory issues, had originally numbered six people.

Reynders also warned Twitter and other tech companies to do more to combat online hate speech, after the latest data showed they had removed less content this year than in previous years.