Surprising, and somewhat risky, is this decision by Elon Musk to close the Twitter office in Brussels, whether by action or omission, as I explain below. And it is that perhaps, in the first instance, you have thought that it is a local office, like so many others that the social network has (well, in many cases it is “had”) throughout the world, and that in that respect Belgium does not seem to be a particularly large market for the social network. But of course, we must think that this city is not only the capital of Belgium.
Indeed, it also shares the capital status of the European Union with Luxembourg and Strasbourg, which is why it is one of the key epicenters of the politics of the old continent, which gives it a fundamental strategic value. This is the reason why many of the big tech American companies do to have a constant presence there, as it greatly facilitates their relationship with European governing bodies, including regulators.
Either in the preparation phase of new regulations, during which they try to influence them if they affect their interests, in the application phase, to facilitate their adaptation to them, or as an outpost if a legal conflict arises due to their application. , these offices are a kind of private diplomatic missions that look after the interests of their companies in a legal framework as complex and increasingly regulated as the European Union.
We don’t have to look too far to find EU actions affecting Twitter, as new rules to combat disinformation on social media were passed last week and the European Union claims to have data showing that Twitter is not fighting misinformation. And yet, according to what we can read on Yahoo! Finance, the Twitter office in Brussels has been dismantled, in the context of massive layoffs from the social network, at a particularly difficult time.
The office, which had fewer than ten workers, was working precisely on both fronts, according to the publication’s sources. However, and although it is unknown if they were fired or voluntarily chose to leave Twitter after Elon Musk’s ultimatum, they left the company last week, leaving Twitter without its main managers, who were also the best connoisseurs of the European legal framework and of its relationship with the social network.
In this case, I think again that this does not respond to a strategic decision, but rather to the “elephant in a china shop” model with which the CEO of Twitter is acting to try to put out the fire that is his income statement. The problem is that, as we have already seen with the case of the dismissed workers who were later asked to return to the company, this type of action can have a quite negative impact on the company and, therefore, also on the resolution of the problem of the red numbers.