UPDATE 1-Twitter likely to quit EU code against disinformation, EU official says

(From paragraph 2 to end, adds explanation of the code, quotes from EU official, Twitter no immediate response)

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, May 25 (Reuters) – Twitter is likely to pull out from a voluntary EU code of practice to tackle disinformation, but the move does not mean it will quit Europe, an EU official said on Thursday.

The European Commission beefed up the code last year, requiring companies to submit regular progress reports with data on how much advertising revenue they had averted from disinformation actors.

New obligations include providing information on the number or value of political advertisements accepted or rejected and instances of manipulative behaviours detected.

Twitter has given signs that it will leave the code, the EU official said, adding that it does not make a big difference as the company has not been putting in a lot of effort recently.

“It just means that they won’t attend meetings and not issue reports. They would still have legal obligations,” the official said, referring to landmark tech rules adopted recently to which the code of practice is linked.

“They are not pulling out of Europe,” the official said.

Twitter did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Violations of the tech rules can cost companies fines as much as 6% of their global turnover.

Companies signed up to the code include Alphabet’s Google, Meta Platforms, Microsoft and TikTok. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Diane Craft and Leslie Adler)

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