‘We have a problem with Twitter’: Elon Musk suspends journalists and causes uproar

Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk, a controversial billionaire self-proclaimed defender of free speech, made headlines on Friday and was threatened with sanctions by the European Union for shutting down the accounts of several American journalists.

Calling this decision “disturbing”, Vera Jourova, the vice-president of the European Commission, reminded Elon Musk in a tweet that there are “red lines” that “threaten sanctions” soon.

“Freedom of the press should not be turned on and off at will,” the German Foreign Ministry said in a tweet on Friday. “This is why we have a problem with Twitter,” German diplomacy added.

Jean-Noel Barrot, France’s Digital Transition Minister, said in another tweet that he was “suffering from the drag that Elon Musk is accelerating on Twitter”: “Freedom of the press is at the foundation of democracy. Attacking one is attacking the other.”

Dozens of American journalists were removed from the social network. Among them are media workers such as CNN (Donie O’Sullivan). New York Times (Ryan Mack), Washington post (Drew Harwell) and independent journalists. Some tweeted about Twitter’s decision Wednesday to stop Elon Musk’s account from automatically reporting his private jet trips.

“Temporary Suspension”

Twitter did not say why the accounts were suspended or for how long. The owner of the social network, which has been the source of much controversy since its purchase in October, gave some indication in a series of tweets from Thursday to Friday night.

“Accounts engaged in doxing are temporarily suspended for 7 days,” said Elon Musk, stating that these rules apply to “journalists” like everyone else (with quotes, editor’s note).

The term “Doxing” refers to the disclosure of personal information about a person on the Internet without their consent. “They published my exact real-time location, literally the coordinates of the assassination, in direct (and obvious) violation of Twitter’s terms of service,” Musk said.

The social network’s rival Mastodon’s Twitter account has also been suspended. “The impulsive and unjustified termination of a number of reporters like CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan is troubling but not surprising,” CNN said.

“Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility is particularly worrying for anyone using the platform. We have sought an explanation from Twitter and will reconsider our relationship based on that response,” CNN added.

“We hope that the accounts of all these journalists will be restored and that Twitter will provide a satisfactory explanation,” the company’s spokesperson said. New York TimesCharlie Stadtlander.


Earlier in this story, Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday that a car with one of his children was being followed by a “crazy stalker” in Los Angeles and hinted that his private jet was being tracked. 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 nearly 500,000 people, @ElonJet used public data to automatically show when and where the SpaceX and Tesla boss’ device took off and landed.

Twitter later announced that its policy now prohibits most tweets that show someone’s real-time location. When it happened to Twitter, Elon Musk promised not to touch the @ElonJet account.

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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