Macron has 'clear and honest' talk with Musk in New Orleans

Macron has 'clear and honest' talk with Musk in New Orleans
Macron meet Elon Musk to air concerns about content moderation and protecting freedom of speech.

2 min read
03 December, 2022
The meeting with Macron came as Musk is facing pressure over his plans for Twitter. (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday said he had a "clear and honest" discussion with Twitter owner Elon Musk during an unannounced face-to-face meeting in New Orleans.

Macron tweeted that he voiced concerns about content moderation on the highly influential platform, which Musk, who also owns electric car giant Tesla, bought for $44 billion in October.

"I'll say it here, on Twitter, because it's all about the blue bird. This afternoon I met with (Musk) and we had a clear and honest discussion," Macron tweeted after the hour-long, closed-door sit-down at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

"Transparent user policies, significant reinforcement of content moderation and protection of freedom of speech: efforts have to be made by Twitter to comply with European regulations," Macron said.

The meeting came as Musk is facing pressure over his plans for Twitter and the site's ability to control hate speech and illegal content.

Musk has sacked thousands of employees since he took control of the company, with teams responsible for content moderation reduced drastically.

The mercurial billionaire has reinstated a slew of accounts that had previously been banned for violating its content rules, including that of former US president Donald Trump.

Twitter has also stopped enforcing a rule preventing users from sharing misleading information about Covid-19 and vaccine effectiveness.

The world's richest man has made no secret of his fierce opposition to health restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic, especially when they meant the temporary shuttering of his Tesla factory in California.

Macron last week criticised Musk for the change of policy, with Covid-19 infections rising sharply in France.

Musk, who has described himself as a "free speech absolutist," has seen advertisers keep their distance from the site, denying Twitter its main source of revenue.