Twitter just made it even harder to believe what you read on the internet

The troll meme merges with the Twitter logo
(Image credit: Future)

Twitter has pulled out of an EU voluntary Code of Practice that was designed to help prevent the spread of misinformation.

While Twitter is yet to confirm the move, the EU's internal market commissioner shared the news in a tweet. However, this doesn't absolve Twitter of its responsibilities, Thierry Breton confirmed in the same tweet.

"But obligations remain. You can run but you can’t hide," Breton said, adding that fighting disinformation will be a legal requirement as of August 25, 2023.

'Our teams will be ready for enforcement'

In what was surely a shot across the bow of Twitter and owner Elon Musk, Breton also said that the EU's "teams will be ready for enforcement."

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The BBC notes that dozens of companies voluntarily signed up for the code including some big names like Meta and Google. It was first launched in June of 2022 with the aim of preventing the spread of fake news and promoting transparency.

Neither of those things appears to be on the agenda at Twitter. The BBC reminds us that Twitter once had a team dedicated to dealing with disinformation. But with workers either having resigned or laid off, it isn't clear where Twitter stands in terms of its will or ability to ensure fake news doesn't spread across its social network like wildfire.

However, it might not have a choice. The Digital Services Act will come into effect on August 25, making it a legal requirement for companies with more than 45 million monthly active users to comply with laws surrounding misinformation.

"The law will mean Twitter will have to have a mechanism for users to flag illegal content, act upon notifications 'expeditiously' and put in measures to address the spread of disinformation," the BBC adds.

It remains to be seen what Twitter will actually do when faced with the EU's requirements.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.