Twitter suspends journalists who covered Elon Musk and the company

An image of Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk is surrounded by Twitter logos in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland, November 08, 2022.

STR | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Twitter on Thursday night suspended several high-profile journalists who covered the company and Elon Musk. Some messages stated that the accounts were “permanently suspended”.

The suspensions come a day after Twitter changed its policies regarding accounts that track private jets, including one belonging to Elon Musk.

Testimonials from Ryan Mac of the New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Drew Harwell of the Washington Post, Matt Binder of Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept, Voice of America’s Steve Herman and freelancers Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster had all been suspended since Thursday evening.

Mastodon’s Twitter account, a platform touted as an alternative, was also suspended early Thursday evening.

Musk said the suspensions stemmed from the platform’s new rules banning private jet trackers, responding to a tweet from Mike Solana, vice president of venture capital firm Founders Fund, who noted that the suspended accounts had posted. links to jet trackers on other websites.

“Criticizing me all day is totally fine, but doxxing my position in real time and putting my family at risk is not,” he added. another tweet.

In early November, shortly after taking over Twitter, Musk tweeted that he would not ban the account that followed his jet.

It was not immediately clear why the accounts had been suspended, although some tweeted about the suspension of the Twitter account that followed Musk’s jet, @ElonJet, and its availability on Mastodon.

As of Thursday night, Twitter accounts run by NBC News reporters were unable to tweet a link to Mastodon’s pages.

A New York Times spokesperson who called the suspensions questionable and unfortunate said no explanation was provided to Mac or the news agency for the ban.

“We hope that all journalists’ accounts will be restored and that Twitter will provide a satisfactory explanation for this action,” said Charlie Stadtlander, communications director for The Times.

Lee said in a text message that prior to the suspension, he attempted to tweet a link to the Mastodon account that tracked Musk’s jet, but was unable to and instead tweeted a screenshot.

Rupar wrote on Substack that his account was permanently suspended but he had no further information.

“I haven’t heard anything from Twitter at all,” he wrote.

He noted that he tweeted a link to a Facebook page on Wednesday that tracked Musk’s jet.

Elon Musk shows erratic behavior on Twitter, says Jim Cramer

A CNN spokesperson said the suspensions were “impulsive and unwarranted” – but not surprising.

“Twitter’s growing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern to anyone who uses Twitter,” the network said in a statement. “We have requested an explanation from Twitter, and we will reassess our relationship based on that response.”

Binder, a tech reporter at Mashable, said he was suspended after tweeting a screenshot of another suspended reporter, CNN’s O’Sullivan, of an LAPD statement.

“I’ve been here since 2008. I’ve never had this much slap on the wrist because I always play by the rules,” Binder said. “It’s not hard to do when you know the rules.”

Binder said his account notified him that he was permanently suspended.

“That’s exactly what he criticized on Twitter,” Binder said of Musk.

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey speaks:

Musk tweeted Wednesday night: “Any account doxxing anyone’s real-time location information will be suspended, as it is a breach of physical security. This includes posting links to sites containing real-time location information.”

Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., tweeted that she met with Twitter representatives on Thursday who said the company would take no action against journalists who criticize the platform.

“Less than 12 hours later, several tech journalists have been suspended. What’s the matter, @Elon Musk?” added Trahan.

The suspensions come as Musk reneged on his promise to run Twitter as a free speech absolutist, reinstating accounts associated with the QAnon movement and other far-right groups while banning others .

Internally, it removed criticism of its company policies.

The suspensions add to what has been a tumultuous few days for Twitter after the company first suspended the account that followed Musk’s jet.

Musk appeared to threaten legal action against its creator, Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old college student in Florida, after Musk claimed a “stalker” ran into a car carrying his child in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Musk has provided no evidence that Sweeney or his account were involved. He did not provide a time or location in the vast metropolitan area where the alleged incident occurred.

Twitter is the modern public square and shouldn't censor journalists, says Rep. Ro Khanna

Sweeney told NBC News on Wednesday that he had not received any notification of legal action, and the last time his bot tweeted anything was December 12, “which is not last night, so I don’t understand how it’s related.”

The Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday that no police report had been filed.

“The LAPD Threat Management Unit is aware of the situation and Elon Musk’s tweet and is in contact with his representatives and security team. evening.

There are other law enforcement departments that also cover parts of the Los Angeles metro area.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *