SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter suspended the accounts of about a half-dozen prominent journalists on Thursday, the latest change for the social media service under its new owner, Elon Musk.
Suspended accounts include Ryan Mac of The New York Times; Drew Harwell of The Washington Post; Aaron Rupar, an independent journalist; Donnie O’Sullivan of CNN; Matt Binder of Mashable; Tony Webster, independent journalist; Micah Lee of The Intercept; and political reporter Keith Olbermann. It’s unclear what the suspensions had in common; each user’s Twitter page included a message saying that accounts had been suspended for “violating Twitter’s rules.”
A day earlier, Twitter suspended more than 25 accounts tracking the planes of government agencies, billionaires and high-profile personalities, including Trump’s. musk. Many of the accounts were run by Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old college student and flight-tracking enthusiast who used Twitter to post updates about Trump’s location. Musk’s private jet uses publicly available information.
Last month, sir. Musk has said he will keep the account that allows tracking of his private jet on Twitter, even though he says it poses a security threat. “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning accounts that follow my plane, even if that is an immediate personal safety risk,” he said in a tweet at the time.
But he changed his mind this week after he claimed the car in which one of his sons was traveling was accosted by a “crazy stalker”. Wednesday, sir.musk tweets Any account that posts “anyone’s real-time location” will be suspended as a breach of personal safety. This includes posting links to websites with real-time location information. “
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Some of the journalists whose accounts were suspended had written about or tweeted about accounts that tracked private jets. Some also wrote articles critical of Mr. Musk and his ownership of Twitter. Many of them have tens of thousands of followers on the platform.
gentlemen. Musk did not respond to a request for comment, and Twitter did not respond to an email for comment. In a tweet, Mr. Twitter’s rules on “doxxing” — sharing someone’s personal files, including information like their address — “apply to ‘journalists,’ as well as everyone else,” Musk said, without elaborating.
“Tonight’s suspension of the Twitter accounts of some prominent journalists, including Ryan Mack of The New York Times, is questionable and unfortunate,” said New York Times spokesman Charlie Stadtland. No explanation was received as to why this happened. We hope to reinstate the accounts of all journalists and hope that Twitter will provide a satisfactory explanation for this action.”
Representatives for The Washington Post did not immediately respond to a request for comment. CNN spokeswoman Kristine Coratti Kelly said the suspension was “concerning but not surprising” and that “Twitter’s increased instability and volatility should cause people’s great attention”. During an appearance on CNN after his account was suspended, Mr. O’Sullivan said Twitter’s actions could intimidate journalists who cover O’Sullivan’s companies. musk.
“I am disappointed to see that I have been deactivated from Twitter without any explanation,” said Mr. Webster, whose account was suspended, said in an emailed comment. He added that he had tweeted about Mr Stalking’s Twitter account. Musk’s private jet before he was suspended.
gentlemen. Binder, a reporter for Mashable, said he has been critical of Mr. Trump. However, Musk did not violate any of Twitter’s listed policies.
After being deactivated by Twitter, Mr. Sweeney turned to Mastodon, an alternative social network. Using Twitter at Mastodon to promote Mr. Sweeney’s new account was suspended by Twitter on Thursday at Mastodon. As some journalists shared news of Mastodon’s deactivation, their own accounts were also deactivated.
gentlemen. Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion in October, has said his acquisition will expand free speech on the platform and allow more people to participate in the public conversation. In recent weeks, he has allowed some banned users to return to the platform, including former President Donald J. Trump, who was banned from his account after Jan. 17. On January 6, 2021, riots broke out on Capitol Hill.
gentlemen. Musk said in October that he would form a committee to advise him on policy issues before revising the company’s content moderation policy. Council did not materialize. This week, sir. Musk disbanded a trust and safety advisory group that had guided Twitter on thorny issues such as harassment and child exploitation.
“I want even my harshest critics to stay on Twitter because that’s what free speech is about,” Mr. Musk tweeted in April shortly after announcing his intention to acquire the company.