It has been a chaotic 24 hours for Twitter and Elon Musk. On Thursday, The Twitter CEO suspended the accounts of several prominent journalists including writers from the NYT, Washington Post and CNN, arguing they allegedly breached rules about sharing an individuals’ live location.
Following numerous outcries from the journalists’ employers, media organizations and even the EU, Musk must’ve had an epiphany about the initial reason he took over Twitter: to save free speech. In standard Musk fashion, the billionaire opened a Twitter poll asking his 121 million-and-some followers whether he should lift the ban right away or maintain the suspensions for seven days. The poll garnered nearly 3.7 million votes, with 58.7% of the responses favouring an immediate reversal. Shortly after, Musk reinstated several of the journalists’ accounts.
“The people have spoken,” the billionaire tweeted. Under Twitter’s updated rules, users are banned from publishing information that reveals a “person’s location, regardless if this information is publicly available.” According to Musk, the journalists in question were “doxxing” him, when in fact they were merely writing articles about Musk suspending an account called @ElonJet that was sharing publicly available information on the real-time location of his private jet.
The @ElonJet account, owned by 20 year-old Florida college student Jack Sweeney, still remains offline at the time of writing.
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