EU Passes Digital Services Act, Twitter Agrees to Sell to Musk, World IP Day

The EU law would require certain large tech companies to better regulate disinformation and misinformation.

EU Passes Digital Services Act, Twitter Agrees to Sell to Musk, World IP Day
This photo of Elon Musk was taken from Flickr.

April 26, 2022 — Over the weekend, the European Union passed The Digital Services Act, legislation that will require certain large big technology companies to regulate any disinformation and/or hate speech that gets posted on their platforms — or face major fines.

The EU’s new legislation will also ban ads aimed at children and make user reporting much easier and require big technology platforms to submit to annual audits.

The law is passed at a time when both the EU and the US are grappling with the effects social media disinformation, including with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Many private companies have made efforts to limit the spread of disinformation from the Russian government. Platforms including Facebook, Google and Twitter have all significantly reduced Russian-backed ads. Meanwhile, YouTube, Facebook and TikTok are blocking Russian media organizations, like RT and Sputnik, from using their platforms within the European Union.

Twitter board agrees to sell company to Elon Musk

On Monday, Twitter’s board agreed to terms that would see the platform be sold to Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for $44 billion.

The proposal must now go through standard regulatory review.

The development came after the board chose to impose a “poison pill” defense against Musk’s potential purchase of Twitter late last week. That strategy would have allowed for Twitter shareholders, except for Musk, to buy more shares at a discounted rate. The hope was that an uptick in other shareholders’ holdings would lead to Musk’s stake in the company being diluted.

The decision to sell the company to Musk comes after much debate over what Musk’s involvement in the company would be after Musk offered to buy the company for $54.20 per share in early April.

A week prior to Musk’s proposal to buy the platform, news emerged that he purchased a 9.2 percent stake in the company.  That same week, Twitter’s board extended a seat to Musk with the catch that he couldn’t exceed a certain purchasing threshold. He declined the seat.

World IP day

On Tuesday, the World Intellectual Property Organization, a source of information concerning global intellectual property, is celebrating its annual World Intellectual Property Day.

The theme of this year’s event is titled “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future.”

“Young people are the innovators, the creators and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Through their creativity and ingenuity, young people in all regions are driving change and carving pathways to a better future. World Intellectual Property Day 2022 celebrates this exciting generation of change-makers,” WIPO wrote in an online statement describing the event.

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