The European Union on Friday threatened tech billionaire Elon Musk with sanctions after Twitter removed several journalists reporting on him and the social media company.

Vera Jourova, the European Commission’s vice-president for values ​​and transparency, said in a tweet that news of the “arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is worrying.”

On Thursday night, Twitter abruptly suspended several prominent journalists who cover it, including CNN correspondent Donie O’Sullivan and Ryan Mac, a reporter for The New York Times.

He suggested that these journalists violated Twitter’s policy on “doxxing,” or exposing a person’s identifiable information.

This comes after the @ElonJet account, which tracked the location of Musk’s private jet using publicly available flight data, was suspended by Twitter.

Musk now faces possible EU sanctions.

“The EU Digital Services Law requires respect for media freedom and fundamental rights,” said Jourova. “This is reinforced by our #MediaFreedomAct. @elonmusk should be aware of this.”

“There are red lines. And sanctions, coming soon,” she added.

Jourova did not add further details about the sanctions. Under the EU Digital Services Law, companies can be fined up to 6% of their global annual revenue for violations.

The DSA, which took effect on November 16, requires large platforms to reduce online harm, implement user rights protections and issue transparency reports.

Big tech platforms are required to report to the Commission the number of active end users they have by February 2023. They then have up to four months after the bloc completes revisions to the numbers to comply with the rules.

Musk has served as Twitter’s CEO since October, after purchasing the company for $44 billion.

The Tesla and SpaceX chief, who calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” has upset politicians and civil liberties activists with moves to restore the accounts of banned users, including former US President Donald Trump, and with the dismissal of thousands of Twitter employees.

With information from CNBC


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