Twitter loses entire Brussels office with regulators looming

Twitter loses entire Brussels office with regulators looming
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(Nov 24): Twitter Inc has lost its last remaining employees in the regulatory hub of Brussels, at a time when it faces increasing scrutiny from lawmakers.

The small office of six employees was cut to two in recent weeks following Elon Musk’s dramatic culling of staff, according to people with knowledge of the exits. The remaining two members left over the past week, after Musk called for staff to commit to a “hardcore working culture.”

The Brussels office was a key hub for Twitter to engage with a deluge of European regulation, much of which has only recently come into force. The social media platform has long battled a perception it has failed to manage hate-speech and disinformation.

A spokesperson for Twitter could not be reached for comment. The Brussels departures were first reported by the Financial Times.

European regulators and officials have been quick to demand Twitter keeps up with its regulatory demands. Hours after billionaire Musk closed his US$44 billion deal for the company, European Commissioner Thierry Breton sent a warning to the new owner, calling on the company to “fly by our rules.”

The EU’s Digital Services Act gives governments more power to enforce rules governing how tech companies moderate content and to decide when they must take down illegal content. If Musk doesn’t comply, Twitter will face fines of as much as 6% of annual sales and could even be banned.

In the US, a group of Democratic senators has also asked the US Federal Trade Commission to look into whether Twitter breached consumer protection laws or its consent decree under Musk’s ownership.