Twitter suspends accounts of several journalists covering Elon Musk and his company

NEW YORK: Twitter has suddenly suspended the accounts of several celebrities journalist people who cover social media platforms and Elon Muskwho acquired the company in October.
‘s accounts Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Matte Adhesive of Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept, Steve Herman of Voice of America, and independent journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster all were suspended as of Thursday night, CNN reported.
However, journalists found a backdoor into the platform through the website’s audio function, and hours after the suspension, Musk was confronted with an audio discussion on Twitter Space before more than 30,000 spectators.
“You doxx, you are suspended. End of story. That’s it,” Musk told one of the suspended journalists, explaining his latest policy to the group before he left a few minutes after joining the discussion.
Musk is referring to Twitter’s latest rule change regarding accounts that follow private jets, including accounts owned by Musk himself, that came out on Wednesday.
The Twitter account for Mastodon, a platform touted as a Twitter alternative, was also suspended in the early hours of Thursday evening.
Twitter accounts operated by NBC News journalists could not tweet any links to Mastodon pages. However, Mastodon is trending on Twitter.
According to NBC News, Musk said the suspension stems from the platform’s new rules banning private jet tracking, responding to a tweet from Mike Solana, vice president of venture capital firm Founders Fund , who noted that the suspended accounts posted links to the jet. trackers on other websites.
“Criticizing me all day is perfectly fine, but doxx my real-time location and endangering my family is not,” he said in another tweet.
Doxxing refers to sharing someone’s home address or other personal information online.
Musk tweeted that the banned accounts on Thursday posted “my exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in direct violation of Twitter’s terms of service.” .
Musk later added that the suspension would last seven days.
In early November, shortly after taking control of Twitter, Musk tweeted that he would not be banning his jet-following account.
Rupar wrote on Substack that his account has been permanently suspended but he has no other information.
“I haven’t heard from Twitter yet,” he wrote, saying he tweeted a link on Wednesday to a Facebook page that tracks Musk’s jet.
Binder, a technology reporter at Mashable, said he was suspended after tweeting a screenshot from another suspended reporter, CNN’s O’Sullivan, of a Loss Police Department statement. Angeles.
Binder said: “I have been in it since 2008. I have never been fined so much because I always follow the rules. “It’s not hard to do when you know what the rules are.”
Binder said his account was notified that he was permanently suspended.
“This is exactly what he’s criticized Twitter for doing before,” Binder said of Musk.
Binder found a loophole in Twitter’s suspension, participating in an audio discussion about Twitter’s Space feature with other journalists on Thursday night.
“I’m breaking the law in a way that’s never been done before,” Binder joked.
Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old college student in Florida who created a Twitter account to follow Musk’s jet, was also able to join the discussion, with Musk briefly joining in.
The billionaire had previously launched a multiple-choice poll asking if he should reinstate journalists’ accounts, but later deleted the poll and started a new one with little choice because the majority of respondents voted to restore the account immediately. .
O’Sullivan said on Thursday that all those journalists suspended with him were those who covered Musk.
“As we saw with the jet tracker last night, it looks like Musk is removing the accounts he doesn’t like,” O’Sullivan said on CNN.
A spokesperson for the network said the suspension was “impulsive and irrational” – but unsurprising.
“Twitter’s growing uncertainty and volatility will be of incredible concern to all Twitter users,” CNN said in a statement, adding that the network had requested Twitter “explains” and it will reevaluate its relationship with the platform based on that feedback. .
Ryan Mac, a New York Times technology reporter, wrote on a new Twitter account that he was “not alerted” before his account was suspended and that he received no notifications from him. company about why his account was “permanently suspended”.
A spokesman for The New York Times, who called the suspension suspicious and regrettable, said no explanation was provided to Mac or newspaper about the ban.
Meanwhile, the European Union has threatened to punish Musk after several journalists reported on the company’s sudden account suspension.
EU commissioner Vera Jourova warns that the EU Digital Services Act requires respect for freedom of communication.
“Elon Musk should be aware of that. There are red lines. And sanctions, soon,” she wrote on Twitter.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, if individual bans are confirmed as retaliation for the work of journalists, it would be “a serious violation of a journalist’s right to report without fear of reprisal.” revenge”.
Several other organizations have condemned Twitter’s decision, with the head of the American Civil Liberties Union saying: “Twitter’s free speech aspirations cannot be resolved by deleting the accounts of important journalists.”
The president of the Association of Professional Journalists (SPJ) said in a statement that it was “concerned” about the suspension and that the move “affects all journalists”.
Twitter, which recently disbanded much of its press department, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
But Twitter’s head of trust and safety told the Verge: “Without commenting on any particular account, I can confirm that we will suspend any account that violates the law. our privacy policy and put other users at risk.”


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