Elon Musk’s Twitter bans Aaron Rupar and CNN, NYT, WaPo journalists without explanation


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Twitter on Thursday evening banned the accounts of several senior journalists from top news organizations without explanation, in an apparent bid by new owner Elon Musk to maintain his unilateral control over the platform.

The accounts of CNN’s Donnie O’Sullivan, The New York Times’ Ryan Mack, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell and other journalists who have aggressively covered Musk in recent weeks have all been suspended indefinitely. The account of progressive independent journalist Aaron Roper was also suspended.

Neither Musk nor Twitter responded to a request for comment Thursday evening, and the platform did not elaborate on why reporters were kicked off the platform.

But he appears to be claiming that the approved accounts violated his new “doxing” policy and shared what appeared to be a “coordinated murder” about him, even though many reporters Type information is not distributed.

O’Sullivan, Mac and Harwell recently reported on the banning of @ElonJet, an account that posted real-time updates on the location of Musk’s private jet.

Doxxing generally refers to the practice of sharing someone’s home address or other personal information online. The banned account instead used publicly available flight data, which remains online and accessible, to track Musk’s jet.

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The bans have raised a number of questions about the future of the platform, which has been referred to as Digital City Square. It also called into serious question Musk’s commitment to free speech.

Musk has repeatedly said he wants to allow all legal speech on the platform; In April, the same day he announced he would buy Twitter, he tweeted: “I hope even my worst critics stay on Twitter, because that’s what freedom of speech is all about. ”

A CNN spokesperson said the company has asked Twitter for clarification, and that it will “reevaluate our relationship based on its response.”

“The forced and unfair suspension of a number of reporters, including CNN’s Donnie O’Sullivan, is disturbing but not surprising. Twitter’s growing volatility and volatility should be an undeniable concern to anyone who using Twitter,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesman for The New York Times called the mass bans “questionable and unfortunate,” adding: “Neither The Times nor Ryan has received any explanation as to why this happened. We hope that all reporters’ accounts Reopened and Twitter provided a satisfactory explanation for this action.

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“Ellon says he’s a champion of free speech and he bans journalists for exercising free speech,” Harwell told CNN on Thursday. “I think it calls into question his commitment.”

Roper also said he had heard “nothing” from Twitter about the suspension.

The @ElonJet account, which had amassed more than 500,000 followers, was suspended on Wednesday after Twitter introduced a set of new policies banning accounts that follow people’s whereabouts. Musk has also blocked any accounts linked to him Such information. Previously, there were no restrictions related to location sharing on Twitter.

The changes came after Musk rolled back Twitter’s previous rule breakers and stopped enforcing the platform’s policies that prevent Covid-19 misinformation.

Other accounts soon came under fire. On Thursday, Twitter Shut down an account associated with Mastodon, an emerging competitor, which tweeted earlier in the day that people could follow @ElonJet on that platform by including a link.

Many of the journalists suspended Thursday were covering the @ElonJet ban, which underscored the irony of Musk’s self-proclaimed mission to advance free speech.

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“Free speech is when the world’s second-richest man threatens legal action against a 20-year-old college student for sharing public information he doesn’t like,” Harwell tweeted before pulling his account, Jack Sweeney He pointed to you. College student who drives @ ElonJet .

CNN’s O’Sullivan also covered the story, interviewing Sweeney and her grandmother about the issue.

“I think it’s very important for the potential chilling effect it can have for freelance journalists, independent journalists around the world, especially those who cover Elon Musk’s other companies like Tesla and SpaceX,” and Sullivan told CNN after his account Thursday. adjourned

As outrage erupted over the account suspension, some Twitter users reported that the platform began intercepting when they tried to post links to their profiles on alternative social networks, including Mastodon.

Those reports were confirmed Thursday evening by a CNN reporter who was blocked from sharing Mastodon’s profile URL and was given an automated error message that said Twitter or its partners had identified the site as “potentially harmful.” and

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