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French President Macron meets with Elon Musk to address social media regulations

French President Emmanuel Macron met with billionaire Elon Musk to cap off his visit to the U.S. this week. 

Macron spent an hour talking with Musk, current CEO and owner of Twitter, and the pair discussed a number of topics, from green energy targets to concerns about content moderation on social media. 

“In accordance with our ambition to decarbonize and reindustrialize France and Europe, I discussed today with @elonmusk on future green industrial projects, in particular on the manufacture of electric vehicles and batteries,” Macron wrote on Twitter of the “clear and honest” talks. 

“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 also wrote after the meeting. 

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France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Elon Musk meet in New Orleans in this undated picture obtained from social media and released Dec. 2, 2022. 
(Twitter @emmanuelmacron/via Reuters)

The pair met in New Orleans, marking the first French presidential visit to the city since 1976 and only the third since Charles de Gaulle’s famous visit in 1960. Macron already met with President Biden and lawmakers, including Kevin McCarthy, Thursday. 

“This state visit enables us to put France, and with France Europe, at the heart of the American agenda. That’s a good thing,” Macron told journalists in French, according to a translation from pool reporters. 

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The focus on social media regulations has come into sharper focus following Musk’s purchase of the social media platform. The weeks following his takeover proved tumultuous, leading up to Musk suspending Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and the release of internal communications regarding the report on Hunter Biden’s laptop. 

French President Emmanuel Macron pictured with controversial New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell in the French Quarter during a diplomatic tour in December 2022.

French President Emmanuel Macron pictured with controversial New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell in the French Quarter during a diplomatic tour in December 2022.
(Fox News Digital)

Earlier this week Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for digital policy, told Musk that Twitter will have to significantly boost efforts to comply with new rules known as the Digital Services Act that take effect next year or potentially face hefty fines or even a ban in the continental bloc.

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Macron highlighted Twitter’s policy changes as a “big issue” during an interview on “Good Morning America,” saying he will push for “more regulation.” 

Elon Musk arrives at the Baron Investment Conference at the Metropolitan Opera House Nov. 4, 2022, in New York. Employees are bracing for widespread layoffs at Twitter as Musk overhauls the social platform. 

Elon Musk arrives at the Baron Investment Conference at the Metropolitan Opera House Nov. 4, 2022, in New York. Employees are bracing for widespread layoffs at Twitter as Musk overhauls the social platform. 
(AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

“Free speech and democracy is based on respect and public order. You can demonstrate, you can have free speech, you can write what you want, but there are responsibilities and limits,” he said.

Musk made at least one pledge to Macron, assuring the French leader that Twitter will continue to participate in the Christchurch Call to Action Summit, which aims to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

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“Elon Musk confirmed the Twitter’s participation to the Christchurch Call. There is no place for terrorist and violent extremist content anywhere,” Macron tweeted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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