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Twitter has pulled out of a voluntary agreement put in place by the European Union to combat online disinformation, a senior EU official has said.

European Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a tweet Friday that the platform has withdrawn from the EU's "code of good practice" against disinformation, which has the committed support of other major social networks. However, Twitter's "obligation" remains, he added, referring to strict new digital provisions that the EU will put into effect in August.

"You can run but not hide," he said. San Francisco-based Twitter responded in an automated manner — as it usually does to most questions from the press — and without comment.

The decision to abandon a commitment to cracking down on false information appears to be the latest move by Twitter billionaire Elon Musk in seeking to ease controls on the social network after acquiring it last year.

Musk has rolled back previous rules against misinformation and plunged the company's verification system and content moderating policies into chaos in his goal of turning Twitter into a digital hub. Google, TikTok, Microsoft and Facebook, as well as Instagram's parent company, Meta, are among the subscribers to the EU code, which obliges companies to measure their fight against disinformation and issue regular reports on their progress.

Twitter had already hinted that it was unwilling to make good on its commitments. The European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-nation bloc, which censured Twitter this year for failing to deliver a first full report on the code, said it provided little specific information and none selected.

Breton said that under the new digital provisions incorporating the code of good practice, combating disinformation will be a "legal obligation." "Our teams will be ready to enforce the provisions," he said.

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