Twitter reportedly disbanding Brussels office, leading to compliance concerns | Twitter

Twitter has dissolved its entire office in Brussels, according to media reports, raising questions about the company’s social media compliance with new EU laws to control big tech.

Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, who were responsible for Twitter’s digital policy in Europe, left the company last week, the Financial Times reported.

The pair had survived an initial cull when Elon Musk laid off thousands of employees following his takeover last month. It is unclear whether Mozer and La Nasa were made redundant or chose to leave in response to Musk’s ultimatum to commit to working long “extremely hardcore” hours or quit.

It was also not clear whether Twitter was closing its office in the European capital, one of the world’s biggest centers for technology regulation.

Questions to Twitter’s press office went unanswered, while Moser and La Nasa did not immediately respond to messages.

In the first round of layoffs, Twitter laid off about half of its 7,500 workforce and disbanded entire teams, including human rights, machine learning and algorithmic ethics. Among the thousands who lost their jobs was the head of the Brussels office, Stephen Turner. He tweeted on November 14th: “After 6 years I am officially retired from Twitter. From starting the office in Brussels to building a great team, it’s been a great ride.”

The collapse of the small Brussels team has raised questions about the company’s ability to enforce new rules aimed at reining in the power of big tech and curbing hate speech. EU officials are said to have many contacts based in Dublin, where Twitter has its European headquarters, although that office has also faced 50% cuts. “I can confirm that we have active and ongoing contacts with Twitter (and other platforms) on various issues,” said a spokesperson for the European Commission.

Senior officials have expressed confidence that the departures at the Brussels office do not threaten Twitter’s ability to comply with key EU laws affecting big tech companies.

The news came as the commission revealed that Twitter – along with most other tech companies – had become slower to respond to reports of hate speech. In 2016, major social media companies agreed a code of conduct with the EU director general, promising to assess most messages about hate speech in less than 24 hours. In a seven-week period this year, Twitter rated just 54% of messages within 24 hours, as part of a general decline in performance by most code signatories.

The company will also have to contend with the EU’s Digital Markets Act, a landmark law aimed at curbing the dominance of large platforms that came into effect this month.

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