Twitter: Elon Musk says he will restore suspended accounts of journalists
“The people have spoken. The suspension of accounts posting my location will be lifted,” Elon Musk said on Thursday (December 15), shortly after being threatened with sanctions by the European Union, while the UN condemned the “dangerous precedent”. “With the accounts of dozens of journalists suspended. The billionaire launched a poll on Twitter asking whether he should reinstate suspended accounts immediately or within a week. About 59% of the 3.69 million Internet users surveyed said he would reinstate them immediately. Some accounts have been reactivated, such as that of former Vox journalist Aaron Rupar.
“At first I was very upset about being suspended, but I quickly realized that everything will be fine because I have a fantastic online community,” Mr. Rupar tweeted, thanking people for their support. Dozens of American journalists were removed from the social network. Among them are media workers and independent journalists such as CNN (Donie O’Sullivan), New York Times (Ryan Mac), Washington Post (Drew Harwell). The controversy began on Wednesday, December 14, after Elon Musk announced that he was suspending the @elonjet account, which automatically reported his private jet travels. Some accounts later tweeted about the decision. Elon Musk justified the suspension of the accounts by claiming that it endangered the safety of him and his family.
Unanimous objection of the United Nations, the European Commission
In a tweet on Wednesday, she claimed that a car with one of her children in it was being followed by a “crazy stalker” in Los Angeles, which she linked to the real-time location of her jet. “They posted my exact location in real-time, literally the coordinates of the assassination, in direct (and blatant) violation of Twitter’s terms of service,” he also said. Twitter did not say why the accounts were suspended. The owner of the social network, which has caused a lot of controversy since October, has given some hints. “Everybody will be treated the same,” he told reporters in a live Twitter audio chat Friday. Mr. Musk, who started working again on the topic, left the discussion and later disabled the Twitter Spaces audio chat service, citing a “technical issue.”
In a tweet late Thursday night, Mr. Musk announced a 7-day suspension for “doxing accounts.” The term “Doxing” means the disclosure of personal information about a person on the Internet without their consent. The suspension of the accounts caused protests. The United Nations strongly condemned the suspension of these accounts by Elon Musk, a self-proclaimed defender of freedom of expression. Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said: “The decision sets a dangerous precedent at a time when journalists everywhere face censorship, physical threats and worse. Vera Jourova, the vice-president of the European Commission, threatened Elon Musk with “soon sanctions” in her tweet, reminding her that there are “red lines” that should not be crossed.
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According to RSF, “a great threat to democracy”
The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization, considering the “arbitrariness of the main platforms” as a “great threat to democracy”, called for the restoration of the accounts of the relevant journalists. After the billionaire took over the platform for $44 billion, he sent mixed messages about what was allowed and what wasn’t. An ardent defender of freedom of expression — as long as records respect the law — he reinstated accounts previously banned by the social network, including Donald Trump’s. But he also suspended Kanye West’s message after several posts deemed anti-Semitic and refused to return to the platform of far-right assassin Alex Jones.
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