EU’s Vestager says Twitter chaos creates opportunity to seek alternatives

MADRID (Reuters) -The European Union’s antitrust chief said on Friday the tumultuous takeover of Twitter was an opportunity for the public to seek alternatives to the social network, praising though its blue-tick certification as helping media trustworthiness.

The European Commission will keep using Twitter as a communication tool, Margrethe Vestager said, while singling out Mastodon – a decentralised, open alternative from Germany – as another popular choice.

The takeover by billionaire Elon Musk earlier this month and the many changes he announced in running Twitter and his warning last week it could go bankrupt have led to speculation about the future of the platform.

“I find it very interesting how these events, so to speak, around Twitter have made many more people curious as to what other services could we potentially use,” Vestager told reporters in Madrid after meeting Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino.

“A lot of people talk about Mastodon, which is a German-developed service,” she said. “I think (it has) a lot of the same features people tend to enjoy on Twitter.”

Calvino said the Spanish government would also keep using Twitter to communicate though if certainty over security is no longer guaranteed it could move to another platform.

Among the changes planned by Musk, who is also Tesla Inc’s top boss, is a subscription service for a ‘blue tick’ which used to mean Twitter had verified the account belonged to the person or company claiming it. The initial rollout of the paid verification had to be postponed after fake accounts mushroomed.

“For me the blue tick is very essential, because it’s part of the trustworthiness of a media, that you know who you are dealing with,” Vestager said.

(Reporting by Emma Pinedo and Inti Landauro; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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