Control X: Musk Purges — and then Un-Purges — Accounts of Journalists, Writers and Podcasters

X is starting the year with another journalist purge — or wait, just kidding.

On Tuesday morning, the Elon Musk-owned platform was found removing an unknown number of accounts — including some popular journalists, writers, and podcasters — only to reinstate them shortly after. 

X has yet to provide an official explanation, besides Musk saying the accounts got “caught up” in a routine sweep of spam accounts.

However, as Gizmodo notes, the common thread appears to be that these popular accounts were recently critical of the Israeli government and its continuous bombardment of Gaza.

Among those who were banned were Ken Klippenstein of the nonprofit news publication the Intercept, Steven Monacelli of the Texas Observer, Rob Rousseau of the leftwing podcast The Insurgents, and the account of another leftwing podcast TrueAnon.

The short-lived ban may have been an attempt for Musk to demonstrate that he isn’t just not antisemitic but the opposite of antisemitic. In November, X saw another advertiser exodus when Media Matters released a report that showed it was running ads of major brands like Apple, IBM and Disney alongside pro-Nazi content, and coincidentally around the same time, Musk endorsed an antisemitic post.

He’s since threatened to go “thermonuclear” on Media Matters, and visited Israel to tour the kibbutz that was attacked by Hamas in October 7. 

Demonstrating he’s also the opposite of a “free speech absolutist,” the purge also included some accounts that were critical of the Tesla.

There’s talk that Musk has been snuffing similar accounts for a while. He also demonstrates this aversion to criticism at his other companies, including the US defense contractor SpaceX.

Information for this story was found via Gismodo, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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