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Twitter suspends journalist accounts critical of Musk

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Several journalists had their accounts permanently suspended on Twitter without explanation.
  • Twitter users pointed out that half of the accounts tweeted about the recently suspended account that tracked the location of Musk’s jet.
  • Other suspended journalists were reportedly critical of Musk and his new Twitter policies.

Twitter dealt out several account suspensions on Thursday, particularly of journalists who posted or shared anything regarding new CEO Elon Musk and the recently suspended account that tracked his jet’s location.

Suspensions included CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, The New York Times’ Ryan Mac, independent journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann, and Tony Webster, and other journalists reporting on tech and Twitter.

Several journalists only saw a notice that marked their accounts as “permanently suspended” but did not receive an explanation from Twitter.

The suspensions closely followed that of the @ElonJet account, operated by 20-year-old student Jack Sweeney. The account automatically posts the flight map of Musk’s jet and an estimated amount of jet fuel and carbon emissions it expended. The data is publicly available for anyone who cares to look.

Musk said that the account violated the platform’s policy that forbids “doxxing,” or sharing a person’s current location.

A Twitter user pointed out that “about half” of the suspended accounts shared links to the jet tracker. Musk confirmed it, replying, “Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else.”

Some of the suspended accounts also shared @ElonJet’s presence on a rival social media platform, Mastodon. Mastodon’s Twitter account was also suspended on Thursday.

Tech journalist Micah Lee of The Intercept said that he had posted about Twitter suspending Mastodon before his suspension, but that he did not receive an explanation from Twitter.

Other suspended accounts, however, were of journalists who were once critical of Musk.

Rupar told Insider that he doesn’t think he has posted or shared anything regarding @ElonJet or anything else that would have violated any Twitter policies. The only thing he can think of was that he posted a tweet critical of Musk the night before his suspension.

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Rupar said, “I guess it was something critical I posted of Elon. Maybe that’s why I received no information from Twitter; they’re probably not going to come out and say that.”

According to NBC News reporter Ben Collins, at least eight of the suspended accounts had been posting about Twitter or Musk, particularly in a critical manner, in recent days.

On Thursday night, Musk insisted that the accounts were not suspended because of their critical nature. He responded, “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not.”

Musk has touted himself to be a “free speech absolutist,” but many wondered what he would tolerate as “free speech.”

He previously said that the jet-tracking account would remain active on Twitter under the protection of free speech.

Source: Insider

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