Elon Musk reinstates journalists’ Twitter accounts after suspensions sparked backlash

Elon Musk has restored the Twitter accounts of several reporters who were suspended for one day on a dispute on the publication of public data on the billionaire’s plane.
The reinstatements came after the unprecedented suspensions drew sharp criticism on Friday from government officials, advocacy groups and news organizations around the world, with some saying the microblogging platform was jeopardizing the freedom of press.
A Chirping poll Musk conducted afterwards also showed that a majority of respondents wanted the accounts restored immediately.
“People have spoken. Accounts that have doxxed my location will see their suspension lifted now,” Musk said in a tweet on Saturday.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. A Reuters check showed that the suspended accounts, which included reporters from The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post, had been reinstated.
Officials from France, Germany, Britain and the European Union have previously condemned the suspensions.
The episode, which a well-known security researcher dubbed the “Thursday Night Massacre,” is viewed by critics as new evidence of Musk, who considers himself an “absolutist of free speech,” purging speech and users who he personally doesn’t like them.
Shares of Tesla, an electric car maker led by Musk, tumbled 4.7% on Friday and posted its worst weekly loss since March 2020, with investors increasingly concerned about its distraction and slowing economy global.
Roland Lescure, the French industry minister, tweeted on Friday that, following Musk’s suspension of journalists, he would suspend his Twitter activity.
Melissa Fleming, UN communications officer, tweeted that she was “deeply disturbed” by the suspensions and that “media freedom is not a toy”.
Germany’s foreign ministry warned Twitter that the ministry had a problem with moves that put press freedom at risk.
ELONJET extension
The suspensions stemmed from a disagreement over a Twitter account called ElonJet, which tracked Musk’s private plane using publicly available information.
On Wednesday, Twitter suspended the account and others who monitored private jets, despite an earlier tweet from Musk saying he would not suspend ElonJet in the name of free speech.
Shortly thereafter, Twitter changed its privacy policy to prohibit the sharing of “real-time location information.”
Then Thursday night, several journalists, including The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post, were suspended from Twitter without warning.
In an email to Reuters overnight, Twitter’s head of trust and security Ella Irwin said the team manually reviewed “all accounts” that violated the new privacy policy by posting direct links to the account. Elon Jet.
“I understand that the focus seems to be primarily on journalist accounts, but today we applied the policy equally to journalist and non-journalist accounts,” Irwin said in the email.
The Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing said in a statement Friday that Twitter’s actions “violate the spirit of the First Amendment and the principle that social media platforms will allow for the unfiltered distribution of information that is already in the public square.” .
Musk accused reporters of publishing his real-time location, which is “basically the coordinates of the assassination” for his family.
The billionaire appeared briefly in a Twitter Spaces audio chat hosted by reporters, which quickly escalated into a contentious discussion about whether the suspended reporters had actually exposed Musk’s real-time whereabouts in violation of policy.
“If you dox, you get suspended. End of story,” Musk said repeatedly in response to questions. “Dox” is a term for posting private information about someone, usually with malicious intent.
The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, one of the reporters who had been suspended but was still able to join the audio chat, dismissed the notion that he exposed Musk or his family’s exact whereabouts by posting a link to ElonJet.
Shortly thereafter, BuzzFeed reporter Katie Notopoulos, who hosted the Spaces chat, tweeted that the audio session was abruptly terminated and the recording was unavailable.
In a tweet explaining what happened, Musk said, “We’re fixing a legacy bug. It should work tomorrow.”

The suspensions of journalists widen the rift between Elon Musk and the media

The suspensions of journalists widen the rift between Elon Musk and the media


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