On Tuesday, Elon Musk said he would reverse Twitter’s ban of former President Donald Trump, who was booted in January 2021 for inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol, should he succeed in acquiring the social platform for $44 billion.
But the day before, the Tesla CEO also said he agrees with the European Union’s new Digital Services Act, a law that will require big tech companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook parent Meta to police their platforms more strictly for illegal or harmful content such as hate speech and disinformation.
The apparent contradiction underscores the steep learning curve awaiting the world’s richest man once he encounters the complexity of Twitter’s content moderation in dozens of languages and cultures. Twitter has to comply with the laws and regulations of multiple countries while taking into account the reaction of advertisers, users, politicians and others.
“He certainly wouldn’t be the first person to say, ‘I’m going to do this’ and then realize that either they don’t really want to do it or their users don’t want them to do it,” said David Greene, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.