‘There are red lines’: Elon Musk faces worldwide outcry after Twitter bans journalists – Egypt Independent
Elon Musk’s choice to suddenly ban prominent tech journalists from Twitter is fanning a fierce backlash from lawmakers on each side of the Atlantic.
In Europe, Germany’s international ministry tweeted its concern with the influence Musk’s strikes might have on press freedom, whereas a senior EU official stated Twitter should adjust to the bloc’s guidelines or face attainable sanctions.
Věra Jourová, the European Commission’s vp for values and transparency, stated the “arbitrary suspension” of journalists was “worrying,” and he or she indicated that the corporate might face penalties consequently.
“The EU’s Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced under our #MediaFreedomAct,” Jourová stated in a post on Twitter, including that Musk “should be aware of that.”
“There are red lines,” she continued. “And sanctions, soon.”
A spokesperson for the the United Nations stated it’s “very disturbed by the arbitrary suspension” of journalist accounts on Twitter, warning that the corporate’s actions have set “a dangerous precedent” amid rising threats to press freedom world wide.
Jodie Ginsberg, president of the Committee to Protect Journalists, stated the group is “deeply alarmed” by the transfer and known as on Twitter to “immediately restore these reporters’ accounts.”
And quite a few Democratic lawmakers within the United States took Musk to process after his firm suspended the accounts of a number of journalists protecting him on Thursday evening, together with CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, the New York Times’ Ryan Mac and the unbiased journalist Aaron Rupar.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated she understood Musk’s emotions of vulnerability as a public determine, “but descending into abuse of power + erratically banning journalists only increases the intensity around you.”
“Take a beat and lay off the proto-fascism,” she tweeted.
Massachusetts Rep. Lori Trahan advised the suspensions immediately contradicted assurances Twitter had given her workers simply hours earlier. “My team met with @Twitter today,” Trahan tweeted Thursday night. “They told us that they’re not going to retaliate against independent journalists or researchers who publish criticisms of the platform. Less than 12 hours later, multiple technology reporters have been suspended. What’s the deal, @elonmusk?”
Thursday’s assembly with Twitter’s authorities affairs consultant had been scheduled beforehand, stated Francis Grubar, a spokesperson for Trahan, in response to doubts about educational researchers’ continued entry to Twitter following layoffs on the firm. The suspensions later that day “immediately caught our attention,” Grubar informed CNN in an announcement.
Neither Musk nor Twitter responded to a request for remark Thursday night, and the platform didn’t clarify exactly why the journalists have been barred from the platform.
Musk falsely claimed that the journalists had violated his new “doxxing” coverage by sharing his stay location, amounting to what he described as “assassination coordinates.” CNN’s O’Sullivan didn’t share the billionaire’s stay location.
Shortly earlier than his suspension, O’Sullivan reported on Twitter that the social media firm had suspended the account of an rising aggressive social media service, Mastodon, which has allowed the continued posting of @ElonJet, an account that posts the placement of Musk’s non-public jet.
Other reporters suspended Thursday had additionally not too long ago written concerning the account.
European leaders beforehand stated they have been watching how Musk’s takeover of Twitter would have an effect on the platform. Thierry Breton, a high EU official, warned Musk in late November that the social media platform should take vital steps to adjust to the bloc’s content material moderation legal guidelines.
“Twitter will have to implement transparent user policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech, tackle disinformation with resolve, and limit targeted advertising,” Breton stated on the time. “All of this requires sufficient AI and human resources, both in volumes and skills. I look forward to progress in all these areas and we will come to assess Twitter’s readiness on site.”
Musk did have some Democratic defenders. California Rep. Ted Lieu advised it was inappropriate for Congress to carry hearings about Musk’s dealing with of the suspended accounts, as a result of “it is not Government’s role to tell Twitter who to ban, who to suspend or who to promote.” The First Amendment prevents Congress from regulating the speech of personal companies, he added.
But California Rep. Ro Khanna, whom Musk has praised for having criticized Twitter’s choice to suppress the New York Post’s 2020 Hunter Biden laptop computer story, informed CNN: “It’s one thing to say you have the First Amendment right, but when you are one of the world’s leading innovators, you also have some responsibility, and I just don’t think it’s becoming, it’s not a good look for him. And I’d tell him that in person.”
— Chris Liakos, Oliver Darcy, Eve Brennan and Nadine Schmidt contributed reporting.
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