Elon Musk Suspends Twitter Accounts Of Journalists, Competitor Mastodon

For a “free speech absolutist,” Twitter CEO Elon Musk seems to be doing the opposite.

Twitter suspended numerous high-profile journalists who had been covering the firm and Elon Musk on Thursday evening. The platform seems to have also suspended the account of its competitor, social network Mastodon.

It is still unknown why the bans are in effect but on their pages, it read the blanket statement that “Twitter suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules.” The reporters who have been barred primarily cover technology, and the majority appear to have recently written pieces about Elon Musk.

As of this writing, some of the journalists who got their Twitter accounts banned include:

  • Donie O’Sullivan from CNN
  • Ryan Mac of The New York Times
  • Drew Harwell of The Washington Post
  • Micah Lee of The Intercept
  • Matt Binder of Mashable
  • Keith Olbermann
  • Aaron Rupar
  • Tony Webster

CNN’s Ben Collins has been documenting in a Twitter thread the known suspensions of journalists’ accounts on the platform.

Some of the journalists were apparently suspended after they pointed out that Twitter suspended the account of Mastodon. The latter is said to be a decentralized social network with microblogging features similar to Twitter and has been touted as an alternative to the social media site.

The barrage of suspensions came shortly after Twitter banned the flight tracking account @ElonJet and the owner of the page, 20-year old student Jack Sweeney.

In a Twitter thread, Musk announced that any account “doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation.”

Bizarrely, this seems to have stemmed from a personal encounter. Musk relayed the experience where his car carrying his two-year-old son X Æ A-Xii, known as X, was “followed by crazy stalker” who would later block the car and jump on the hood. The Tesla chief wasn’t inside the car when the incident happened.

It’s unclear how Musk linked the stalking attack on his family to ElonJet, but it didn’t stop him from announcing that legal action would be taken against Sweeney.

Twitter’s private information policy has been updated following Musk’s tweets, prohibiting accounts from sharing someone else’s live location or private information.

However, in discussing which media content is not a violation of the updated policy, Twitter included in the list posts where “the media and the accompanying tweet text add value to the public discourse or are shared in public interest” and “the subject of the media is a public figure.”

The recent bans are particularly noteworthy after Musk’s series of Twitter Files that were said to be revealed in the name of “free speech.” He also recently castigated Apple for pulling out its advertising from Twitter, essentially claiming that the tech firm and its CEO Tim Cook hate free speech.

READ: What Elon Musk Might Be Missing About “Free Speech”

Information for this briefing was found via MSNBC, The Verge, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. 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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