Dear Commons Community,
Twitter yesterday suspended several journalists who have been covering owner Elon Musk and his tumultuous ownership of the social media company.
The New York Times’ Ryan Mac, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, Mashable’s Matt Binder, The Intercept’s Micah Lee, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell and journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster were all suspended without prior notice last night and offered no explanation.
O’Sullivan recently covered the account suspension of @ElonJet, an account that tracked flight data for Musk’s private plane to his great annoyance. Several of the other reporters had tweeted about the incident or posted links to alternative social media accounts tracking Musk’s jet.
“I haven’t heard anything from Twitter at all,” Rupar wrote on his Substack. “I have no idea what rules I purportedly broke.”
@ElonJet’s creator, 20-year-old college student Jack Sweeney, was also suspended earlier.
“Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not,” Musk tweeted yesterday.
He had tweeted last month that his commitment to free speech extended “even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk”.
He tweeted there would be a seven-day suspension for doxxing, following that up with a poll asking Twitter users to vote on when to reinstate the doxxed accounts.
Twitter also put the freeze on Mastodon, a social media platform that has been siphoning some users away from Musk’s company.
Upon taking over Twitter in October, Musk vowed to champion free speech, and a number of previously banned accounts were reinstated.
But since then, he’s lashed out at mainstream news outlets and come under fire for controversial posts including a misleading tweet about CNN.
Twitter has become Musk’s personal plaything!