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‘We won’t let you turn Twitter into a forum for hate’ Maltese MEP warns Elon Musk

‘We won’t let you turn Twitter into a forum for hate’ Maltese MEP warns Elon Musk
Apr 27 2022 Share

Following the purchase of social media platform Twitter by Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk, Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba reacted to the deal by describing it as shocking. 

Agius Saliba warned the business magnate that he will still have to abide by the new EU rules which regulate social media platforms, despite having bought the platform for $44 billion. 

Taking to Twitter, Agius Saliba said that ‘today we are living in a world where the super rich can buyout platforms to change their rules to their liking.’ 

The vice-president for digital related issues of the S&D European political group tagged the multi-billionaire to tell him that Twitter’s buyout doesn’t mean the platform could do away with respecting EU rules.

Nor will it mean that it will end up as a hotspot for misinformation and hate speech. This follows Musk’s push to ‘unlock Twitter’s potential’. He had tweeted out saying that ‘free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy.’

‘Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated. […] I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.’ 

#MaltaDaily

Qala mayor physically assaulted by ‘well-known developer’ employee

Qala mayor physically assaulted by ‘well-known developer’ employee
Apr 27 2022 Share

Qala mayor Paul Buttigieg has reportedly been physically assaulted by an employee working for a ‘well-known Gozitan developer’. 

The Mayor was allegedly reviewing cleaning works in his locality when a truck driver exited out of a truck and assaulted him physically. The worker shouted at him and accused him of constantly ‘being on their case’. 

The unprovoked attack resulted in minor injuries, with Buttigieg reporting the incident to the police. He went on to say that such an attack is further proof that some cowboys think they own Gozo and do not even want us to protest against the way they are ruining it. 

‘I am not going to lose heart and will continue standing up against the destruction of Hondoq, Qala and Gozo’ said Buttigieg via social media. 

Many took to social media to show solidarity with the mayor, encouraging him to keep up his good work and not relent in getting to the bottom of this attack. It is yet to be revealed who the ‘well-known developer’ is. 

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New anti-SLAPP draft law welcomed by MEP David Casa

New anti-SLAPP draft law welcomed by MEP David Casa
Apr 27 2022 Share

MEP and co-chair of the Media Working Group David Casa welcomed the Commission’s proposal to curtail strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP). 

Reacting to the European Commission’s proposal which would change legal procedures across Europe to ensure better journalistic protection, Casa said that after four years of hard work, it is immensely gratifying to see significant progress on press freedom in Europe. 

Casa has been significantly involved in raising awareness in Brussels as co-chair of the Media Working Group. He has advocated for a legal, Europe-wide solution to address vexatious lawsuits. 

In the EU parliament, he has led political efforts by academics, journalists and activists to put an end to the issue. The draft law announced today addresses two key legal hurdles that enabled vexatious lawsuits being filed domestically and overseas. 

David Casa explained that SLAPP suits reached their peak in Malta in 2017, when journalists like Daphne Caruana Galizia faced dozens of bogus defamation suits, including criminal libel and intimidating letters from Pilatus Bank. 

“When this issue came to the fore in Malta, it was seen as a complex issue that involved aspects of human rights and private international law. It is a sign of success that we mobilised support on a European level”, Casa said.

“We now have a working solution on the table that will bolster protections for journalists, especially those working on public interest investigations against those corrupt entities and governments with deeper pockets and more resources than entire news agencies.”

Between 2010 and 2021, Malta had the highest number of SLAPP suits per capita in Europe. 

#MaltaDaily

Two new electric buses join Malta’s public transport fleet

Two new electric buses join Malta’s public transport fleet
Apr 27 2022 Share

Through an investment of €1 million, two new fully electric, zero-emission buses have just been added to Malta’s public transport fleet. 

Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia labelled the addition a shift to the next level as he attended the launch of the vehicles by the bus operator, Malta Public Transport, in Valletta on Wednesday. 

The Minister said that transport plays a vital role in our society and our economy, impacting everything from our quality of life as well as the sustainability of our local environment. 

He said that our current bus fleet is mostly made up of the latest environmentally-friendly buses. ‘But it is now time to shift to the next level to electrically-powered buses. Today’s investment is only the start of the decarbonisation plan and will be further complemented by the free public transport scheme which will be introduced on October 1st of this year.’ 

Addressing the €1 million price tag of the two buses, MPT Chairperson Felipe Cosmen said that public transport is an important player in the fight against climate change. 

Ever since the MPT kicked off operations in 2015, it overhauled the existing fleet with over 300 new buses fitted with the latest Euro 6 engines. Cosmen highlighted how this makes it among the youngest and cleanest public transport fleets in all of Europe. 

#MaltaDaily