Dec 15 (Reuters) – Twitter Inc on Thursday suspended the accounts of several journalists, including those of The New York Times and The Washington Post, with the site posting “account suspended” notices for them.
Reuters could not immediately determine why these accounts were suspended. All of the suspended journalists have written in recent months about Twitter owner billionaire Elon Musk and the changes to the platform since he bought it.
Responding to a Tweet about account suspensions, Musk tweeted, “The same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as everyone else,” a reference to Twitter’s rules prohibiting the sharing of personal information, called doxxing.
He added: ‘Putting me down all day is totally okay, but doxxing my position in real time and putting my family at risk is not.’
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Thursday, Twitter suspended @elonjet, an account that tracks Musk’s private jet in real time, a month after it said its commitment to free speech extended to not banning the account.
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 have been suspended. The account of freelance journalist Aaron Rupar (@atrupar), which covers American politics and politics, has also been suspended.
A New York Times spokesperson said: “Tonight’s suspension of the Twitter accounts of a number of prominent journalists, including Ryan Mac of The New York Times, is questionable and unfortunate. Neither the Times nor Ryan received explanation as to why this happened. We hope that all journalists’ accounts will be restored and that Twitter will provide a satisfactory explanation for this action.”
Other reporters could not immediately be reached.
The official account of social media company Mastodon (@joinmastodon), which has emerged as an alternative to Twitter since Musk bought the company for $44 billion in October, has also been suspended. Mastodon could not immediately be reached for comment.
Twitter now relies heavily on automation to moderate content, removing some manual reviews and favoring distribution restrictions rather than removing some speech outright, its new chief trust and safety officer told Reuters. Ella Irwin, this month.
Reporting by Sheila Dang, Katie Paul, Paresh Dave, Costas Pitas and Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by William Mallard
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