Elon Musk suspended at least six prominent establishment media journalists from Twitter Thursday evening for allegedly violating the platform’s updated terms of service.
Among the accounts suspended on the platform include:
- New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac
- Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell
- Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann
- Former Vox reporter Aaron Rupar
- CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan
- Mashable’s Matt Binder
Twitter suspended the accounts that tweeted public tracking information of Musk’s private jet, violating the platform’s rules, which were updated Wednesday.
“Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation,” Musk tweeted Wednesday. “This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info. Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok.”
Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info.
Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 15, 2022
Breitbart News reported Thursday about the public information from plane transponders Musk has tried to bar from being shared on his platform:
The Wall Street Journal reports that Twitter has suspended the account @ElonJet which was created by Jack Sweeney, a student at the University of Central Florida, to use public data from plane transponders that log longitude, latitude, and altitude to track the flight path of Elon Musk’s private jet.
This move comes as a surprise given Musk’s previous statements. In a tweet just last month, Musk stated: “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.” It appears that Musk’s opinion has changed.
Sweeney himself said he was surprised by the suspension due to Musk’s previous statements and the sudden change will reflect poorly on Musk’s alleged commitment to free speech. “They are going to say he’s a hypocrite,” Sweeney said.
The New York Times and CNN released statements about their journalist being suspended from Twitter.
“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,” the Times‘ statement read. “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 its action.”
CNN statement read, “The impulsive and unjustified suspension of a number of reporters, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, is concerning but not surprising. Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses the platform. We have asked Twitter for an explanation, and we will reevaluate our relationship based on that response.”
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.
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