Twitter suspends the accounts of several journalists without explanation

Twitter on Thursday suspended the accounts of journalists who cover the social media platform and its new owner Elon Musk, including reporters working for The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and other publications.

The company did not explain why it deleted the accounts and made their profiles and past tweets disappear.

Sudden suspension of journalists follows Musk’s decision on Wednesday permanently ban an account that automatically tracked his private jet flights using publicly available data. It came despite Musk’s promise to maintain the account because of his free speech principles.

Twitter also changed its rules on Wednesday to prohibit sharing another person’s current location without their consent.

Several of the suspended reporters Thursday night had written about the new policy and Musk’s rationale for imposing it, which involved his allegations about a stalking incident that affected his family Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

“The same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as everyone else,” Musk tweeted on Thursday.

“Doxxing” refers to the online disclosure of someone’s identity, address, or other personal information.

CNN said in a statement that “the impulsive and unjustified suspension of a number of journalists, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, is concerning but not surprising.”

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

Musk last month reinstated several previously banned accounts, including those of former President Donald Trump, musician Kanye West and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

It also comes as Musk has, over the past few weeks, overseen the release of what he called the “Twitter files“, which he says show the company suppressed free speech before he took office in October. The files consist of thousands of internal company documents that detail content moderation decisions.

Musk has so far tapped three journalists to organize the release of the files: Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss and Michael Shellenberger.

In a December 2 TweeterMusk wrote of the Twitter files in response to criticism from some users: “Twitter acting on its own to suppress free speech is not a violation of the First Amendment, but acting under government orders to suppress freedom of free speech, without judicial review, is.”

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