There was utter commotion on Twitter after it was discovered that prominent media critics of its owner Elon Musk were simultaneously banned from the platform without explanation.
Among those whose accounts were permanently suspended include CNN correspondent Donie O’Sullivan, New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac, Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell, The Intercept journalist Micah Lee, VOA correspondent Steve Herman, Mashable writer Matt Binder, former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and former Vox journalist Aaron Rupar.
Additionally, the Twitter account belonging to the social media rival Mastodon, which served as a safe haven for liberals who initially fled Twitter following Musk’s takeover (many made their way back to Twitter).
Musk, who described himself as being a free-speech absolutist, received backlash for the purge of his critics, many calling for him to explain why those accounts were suspended.
EX-TWITTER CEO JACK DORSEY INSISTS THERE WAS ‘NO ILL INTENT OR HIDDEN AGENDA’ AMID FALLOUT FROM TWITTER FILES
“This is outrageous,” Fourth Watch media critic Steve Krakauer reacted.
“Hot take – Being the worst account on Twitter isn’t reason alone for suspension and Musk promised transparency around these things so would like to hear why,” Versus Media podcast host Stephen L. Miller tweeted.
“[I]f you start banning accounts willy nilly regardless of how much they suck without transparency, then you’ve become the very thing you swore against. we need answers @elonmusk,” Habbibi Bros podcast co-host Siraj Hashmi similarly expressed.
CNN’S ‘TWITTER FILES’ COVERAGE INVOLVING HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP STORY HAS GLARING OMISSIONS
“In my opinion Aaron Rupar is one of the biggest lying no-character sources of mis/disinformation on the internet. But I haven’t seen a compelling case for his suspension from Twitter,” Fox News host Will Cain wrote.
“Musk is a blatant hypocrite when it comes to free speech,” New York Times corespondent Trip Gabriel wrote.
“Simple: If Twitter is suspending people because they are reporting on or critical of Musk, then current version is no better than the old version w arbitrary and questionable enforcement. If it’s suspending people for violating a clear rule, it’s on them. The why matters,” conservative writer A.G. Hamilton tweeted.
Musk defended Twitters actions, tweeting” Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else.”
In another tweet, Musk said, “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not.”
He added, “They posted my exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service.”
He later clarified “Accounts engaged in doxxing receive a temporary 7 day suspension” and that “current system isn’t clear” about the length of their suspensions.
Musk the posted a late-night poll asking his roughly 122 million followers when he should “Unsuspend accounts who doxxed my exact location in real-time,” giving Twitter users the options between “now,” “tomorrow,” “7 days from now” and “longer.”
At the end of the 30-minute poll, “Now” received 43% of the vote, followed by “Longer” with 38%, “7 days from now” with 14% and “Tomorrow” with just 4%. 535,233 Twitter users cast their vote.
BARI WEISS CLAPS BACK AT CRITICS SAYING TWITTER FILES ‘CHERRY-PICKS’ REPORTING: ‘TWITTER MISLED THE PUBLIC’
Musk also fired back at his critics, writing “If anyone posted real-time locations & addresses of NYT reporters, FBI would be investigating, there’d be hearings on Capitol Hill & Biden would give speeches about end of democracy!”
After concluding his first poll had “too many options,” he conducted a second poll, this time lasting 24 hours, between “now” and “in 7 days.”
“Now” began with a solid ten-point lead over “7 days.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to Fox News request for comment.
Musk was previously criticized for banning @ElonJet, the account that exclusively tracks Musk’s private jet usage. Musk claimed the account was suspended due to a “physical safety violation” since it was “doxxing real-time location info,” sharing video of a “crazy stalker” that was harassing his child in Los Angeles thinking the Twitter owner was present. Musk threatened to take legal action against the account’s user.
On Wednesday, Musk warned Twitter users, “Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info.”
EX-NYT COLUMNIST SWIPES MEDIA DOWNPLAYING TWITTER FILES: ‘LESS INTERESTING’ FACEBOOK LEAKS MADE FRONT PAGES
Some of the recent headlines written by the journalists that were banned include O’Sullivan’s “Twitter suspends account that tracked Musk’s private jet, despite billionaire’s ‘free speech’ pledge” on CNN’s website, Mac’s “Twitter Suspends Over 25 Accounts That Track Billionaires’ Private Planes” on The New York Times’ site and Harwell’s Musk bans Twitter account tracking his jet, threatens to sue creator” published by The Washington Post.
The New York Times released a statement saying, “Tonight’s suspension of the Twitter accounts of a number of prominent journalists, including the New York Times’s Ryan Mac, is questionable and unfortunate. Neither The Times nor Ryan have received any explanation about why this occurred. We hope that all of the journalists’ accounts are reinstated and that Twitter provides a satisfying explanation for its action.”
Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee wrote “The suspension of Drew Harwell’s Twitter account directly undermines Elon Musk’s claim that he intends to run Twitter as a platform dedicated to free speech Harwell was banished from Twitter without warning, process or explanation, following the publication of his accurate reporting about Musk. Our journalist should be reinstated immediately.”
A spokesperson for Voice of America stated “Mr. Herman is a seasoned reporter who upholds the highest journalistic standards and uses the social media platform as a news gathering and networking tool. Mr. Herman has received no information from Twitter as to why his account was suspended… We request that Mr. Herman’s account be reinstated along with an explanation from Twitter for the suspension.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
CNN also issued a statement saying, “The impulsive and unjustified suspension of a number of reporters, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, is concerning but not surprising. Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses the platform. We have asked Twitter for an explanation, and we will reevaluate our relationship based on that response.”
Appearing on CNN, O’Sullivan accused Musk of “stamping out accounts that he doesn’t like.”
“In terms of me personally, many of us national reporters at the Times, the Post we’re okay… We have a platform,” O’Sullivan told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. “I do think this is very important about the potential chilling impact this can have for freelance journalists, independent journalists around the world, particularly journalists who cover Elon Musk’s other companies like Tesla and SpaceX. I think this can have a real chilling factor.”
Since taking over Twitter, Musk has restored several accounts that were banned by previous leadership including former President Trump, the Babylon Bee, Dr. Jordan Peterson among others.
#Twitter #suspends #CNN #NYT #WaPo #journalists #Elon #Musk #alleges #theyre #banned #doxxing #family