Twitter suspends accounts of journalists covering Elon Musk, EU reacts

Cleaning continues. After a massive layoff, Twitter on Thursday suspended the accounts of several journalists covering the social network and its new owner Elon Musk. The Twitter account of Mastodon, a competitor of the social network, was also suspended.

Some of the reporters tweeted about Twitter’s decision Wednesday to suspend the account that automatically reported Elon Musk’s private jet rides. The suspended journalists include media employees such as CNN, The New York Times, or the Washington Post, others are independent journalists.

“The sudden and unjust suspension of a number of journalists like (journalist) CNN Donie O’Sullivan is concerning but not surprising,” the American channel responded in a statement.

“Twitter’s growing instability and volatility is of particular concern to anyone who uses the platform. We have asked for an explanation on Twitter, and we will review our relationship based on that response,” CNN added.

Brussels quickly slammed its fist on the table, with a tweet from Vera Jourova, Commissioner for Transparency. “The news about the arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is disturbing. The EU Digital Services Act requires respect for media freedom and fundamental rights. (…) There are red lines. And sanction, soon,” she said on the network.

For its part, German diplomacy also expressed concern: “Freedom of the press must not be activated and deactivated at convenience”, the ministry wrote. on his Twitter account, above the screenshot of suspended accounts. “For this reason, we have a problem with Twitter,” added the German diplomat.

A tweet with Musk’s location in question

Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday that a car in Los Angeles with his son had been followed by “a crazy stalker”, and appeared to point to the tracking of his private jet as the reason.

He announced in this tweet that he will be suing the person behind the now suspended @ElonJet account. Created by a student and followed by around 500,000 people, @ElonJet used public data to automatically indicate when and where the SpaceX and Tesla boss’ device took off and landed.

Twitter then reached out to announce that its policy now prohibits most tweets that reveal a person’s location in real time.

“Posting someone’s location in real time violates doxing regulations, but posting it offline is allowed,” Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday. The term “doxing” means the disclosure, on the Internet often, of personal information relating to an individual, without their consent.

A conflicting definition of freedom of expression

When he came to the head of Twitter, Elon Musk promised that he would not touch the @ElonJet account. Since acquiring the platform for $44 billion, the billionaire has sent mixed messages about what is and isn’t allowed on it.

Passionate defender of a great freedom of expression – as long as the statements respect the law – he returned the accounts previously banned by the social network, including that of Donald Trump. But he also suspended Kanye West’s after the publication of several messages deemed anti-Semitic and denied the return to the platform of the far-right conspirator, Alex Jones.

Leave a Reply

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