Macron-Musk, surprise meeting in New Orleans

Macron-Musk, surprise meeting in New Orleans

This is the unexpected meeting of Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the United States. And no other media could have been as appropriate to announce it as the blue bird social network. “I talk about it here, on Twitter, because that’s what it’s about. This afternoon I met @elonmusk and we had a clear and sincere discussion”, tweeted the French president on Friday December 4after his one-hour exchange in New Orleans with the entrepreneur, who loudly bought the influential platform for 44 billion dollars at the end of October.

The discussions largely focused on the moderation of content on the social network, Elon Musk having recently taken decisions contrary to the exhortations of the French president and other European leaders. Many users, authorities and advertisers are particularly concerned about its absolutist view of freedom of expression, which could pave the way for a surge of hatred and misinformation online.

Twitter urged to comply with European legislation

Emmanuel Macron split a whole series of tweets to report on this tete-a-tete, which was not announced by the Elysée and kept away from the media. “Transparent terms of use, significant reinforcement of content moderation and protection of freedom of expression: Twitter must make the effort to comply with European regulations”said the Head of State.

“Elon Musk has confirmed Twitter’s participation in the Christchurch call. Terrorist and violent content has no place anywhere,” detailed the French president, referring to an initiative launched by several States and NGOs in 2019, after the Christchurch massacre, the images of which remained accessible online for hours.

Elon Musk, who laid off more than half of the Californian group’s employees, including content moderation teams, initially promised a content moderation council responsible for all major decisions. He finally decided himself to restore many accounts, starting with that of Donald Trump, banned after the assault on the Capitol in January 2021.

The end of the fight against “fake news”, “a big problem”

The world’s richest man has also put an end to the fight against Covid-related “fake news”, which is a ” big problem “underlined Emmanuel Macron during this exchange. “I think we have to tackle the subject head-on, I am in favor of the exact opposite, more regulation. We are doing it (in France, Editor’s note) and we do it at European level”had declared the French president the day before, during an interview with ABC.

Twitter according to Musk: the specter of absolute freedom of expression

Since its takeover of Twitter a month ago, several NGOs, including the Center for Countering Digital Hate, have warned that racist, homophobic, misogynistic and anti-Semitic messages have increased dramatically. “shocking” on the platform. “Completely wrong”had responded by tweet Elon Musk.

Protect children online

Emmanuel Macron assured by concluding his series of tweets that France would continue to work with the social network for, in particular, “Improve the protection of children online”. Elon Musk confirmed it to me today. Let’s better protect our children online! »

The two men finally exchanged on “future green industrial projects, such as the production of electric vehicles and batteries”the billionaire also being the co-founder of Tesla. “It was an honor to see you again”replied Elon Musk, ” eager “ about “exciting projects in France”.