Twitter suspends accounts of several journalists


Article content

Twitter on Thursday suspended the accounts of several prominent journalists who recently wrote about its new owner Elon Musk, with the billionaire tweeting that rules banning the publishing of personal information applied to all, including journalists.

Responding to a Tweet on the account suspensions, Musk tweeted: “Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else,” a reference to Twitter rules banning the sharing of personal information, called doxxing.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Article content

On Wednesday, Twitter suspended @elonjet, an account tracking Musk’s private jet in real time using data available in the public domain. Musk had threatened legal action against the account’s operator, saying his son had been mistakenly followed by a “crazy stalker.”

Musk added on Thursday: “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The suspensions come after Musk has repeatedly vowed to uphold absolute free speech on the platform he bought for $44 billion in October. He reinstated the account of former President Donald Trump, who had been suspended from Twitter over his actions surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Advertisement 3

Article content

“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” Musk had tweeted in April.

After firing thousands of employees after Musk’s $44 billion takeover in October, Twitter is operating with much-diminished staff. It is now leaning heavily on automation to moderate content, doing away with certain manual reviews and favoring restrictions on distribution rather than removing certain speech outright, its new head of trust and safety Ella Irwin told Reuters this month.

Twitter on Thursday showed “account suspended” notices for a clutch of journalists’ accounts. It also suspended the official account of social media company Mastodon (@joinmastodon), which has emerged as an alternative to Twitter since Musk bought it.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Mastodon could not immediately be reached for comment.

The accounts of Times reporter Ryan Mac (@rmac18), Post reporter Drew Harwell (@drewharwell), CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan (@donie), and Mashable reporter Matt Binder @MattBinder were suspended. The account of independent journalist Aaron Rupar (@atrupar), who covers U.S. policy and politics, was also suspended.

A spokesperson for The New York Times said: “Tonight’s suspension of the Twitter accounts of a number of prominent journalists, including The New York Times’s Ryan Mac, is questionable and unfortunate. Neither The Times nor Ryan have received any explanation about why this occurred. We hope that all of the journalists’ accounts are reinstated and that Twitter provides a satisfying explanation for this action.”

CNN said “the impulsive and unjustified” suspensions were concerning but not surprising. The network said it had asked Twitter for an explanation and would reevaluate its relationship with the platform based on that response.

The other reporters could not immediately be reached for comment. (Reporting by Sheila Dang, Greg Bensinger, Katie Paul, Paresh Dave, Costas Pitas, Maria Ponnezhath, Rhea Binoy; Writing by Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by William Mallard)



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Source link

Comments are closed.