(Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. was the only major tech platform that didn’t send a complete report to the European Union detailing how it was tackling disinformation, a move that risks angering regulators.  

Twitter’s report was short of data and didn’t include commitments from the social media company that it would empower fact-checkers, the EU’s executive arm said Thursday in a statement.

“I am disappointed to see that Twitter’s report lags behind others and I expect a more serious commitment to their obligations,” wrote Vice President Vera Jourova, in charge of values of transparency for the European Commission.

Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, who recently spoke with Twitter owner Elon Musk about following the EU’s rules, didn’t reference the company directly, but said that “it comes as no surprise that the degree of quality vary greatly according to the resources companies have allocated to this project.”

The report, part of the EU’s voluntary Code of Practice on Disinformation, details how companies are working to decrease the spread of misinformation such as that pushed by bots about Covid-19 to the number of political ads that were rejected. Twitter signed on to follow the code before Musk took over the company late last year, and agreed to submit an updated report every six months. 

Musk’s Twitter Expected to Face the Strictest EU Content Rules

“In some areas, Twitter is unable to provide granular data due to resource constraints and data limitations,” the company said in its inaugural report published Thursday. “In other areas, there are issues that are not applicable to Twitter’s service.”

While companies aren’t required to participate, not complying fully could put Twitter on a bad track with regulators, especially as companies get ready to implement a wide range of content moderation rules in the upcoming Digital Services Act by Sept. 1. Failing to follow the DSA could cost a company fines of as much as 6% of its annual revenue or even prompt the commission to ban a platform altogether. 

Twitter will almost certainly qualify as a “very large online platform,” requiring the company to address harmful content and submit annual risk assessments to the commission. Musk’s massive job cuts at Twitter — including the exodus of the company’s entire Brussels office — have raised concerns about whether the company will be able to make the necessary changes to comply with the EU’s rules. 

A Commission official said Twitter’s incomplete submission shows that the company is not taking the code seriously enough. Twitter’s plans to require money for researchers to access to its APIs also goes against the spirit of the code, the official said.

Twitter is ending free access to their application programming interfaces, which has allowed academic researchers to study social media trends and posts on the platform.

Some activists were also critical of its report. “The circus at Twitter is undermining the very foundations of the Code,” said Luca Nicotra, a campaign director at Avaaz, a nonprofit group that monitors social media. “They’ve set the bar so low that nobody’s looking at the failures of other platforms.”

Since taking over, Musk has already made a number of changes to the platform that alter the way it tackles misinformation, including eliminating its Covid-19 misinformation policy and cutting teams working on these issues. 

He has made a point of promoting a little-known feature called Community Notes, which asks fact-checking volunteers to add more context to misleading or incorrect tweets, but the current design has limitations around misinformation that is politically polarizing.

--With assistance from Kurt Wagner.

(Updates with Twitter comment in sixth paragraph.)

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