A number of prominent reporters who cover Elon Musk have been suspended by Twitter, including Ryan Mac of The New York Times, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Micha Lee of The Intercept, Matt Binder of Mashable, Aaron Rupar, and Tony Webster of Mashable. Earlier this evening, Elon Musk logged into Twitter Space to explain why he had banned the journalists and ran a poll to ask when they should be unbanned – in both instances, things didn’t really go as planned. Elon Musk recently attempted to crack down on reporters sharing the location of his private jet. All of the reporters banned had recently tweeted about that effort.
“Elon Musk is pro-free speech… except when it’s speech he doesn’t like.”
— CNN This Morning (@CNNThisMorning) December 15, 2022
Live audio chats on Twitter Spaces are apparently open to accounts that aren’t able to post. Eventually, Musk attempted to explain himself in a Space that included Harwell, Binder, and ElonJet. After ElonJet’s Twitter account was banned, its owner opened accounts on Facebook and Mastodon to avoid Twitter bans. Musk accused the journalists of “ban evasion.” He argued that the journalists posted links to those accounts in an attempt to circumvent the ban. Harwell asked Musk how Twitter’s treatment of a New York Post story about a laptop containing Hunter Biden’s personal information differed from Musk’s decision to ban accounts sharing the other ElonJet sites – as well as journalists who reported on the incident – which involved a ban on Twitter accounts sharing the other ElonJet sites.
TABLES HAVE TURNED: Elon Musk suspends CNN, NYT, WaPo journalists, reminding them the rules also apply to them. https://t.co/DGz1u8482w pic.twitter.com/xcDOo8LBkh
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 16, 2022
Twitter Suspends Accounts Of Journalists Covering Elon Musk And Company
Thursday evening, Twitter suddenly suspended several high-profile journalists covering the platform, as well as Elon Musk, who acquired the platform only a few months ago. Several hours after the suspensions took hold, Musk faced off against one of the suspended journalists in an audio discussion on Twitter Space. A backdoor way onto the platform was found by the suspended journalist and several others via the audio feature of the website. If you doxx, you will be suspended. This is the end of the story. Musk told the meeting shortly after joining that was all he had to say about his latest policy. He was referring to Twitter’s latest rule change, which went into effect on Wednesday, regarding accounts that track private jets, including one owned by Musk.
In addition to Ryan Mac from The New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan from CNN, Drew Harwell from The Washington Post, Matt Binder from Mashable, Micah Lee from The Intercept, Steve Herman from Voice of America, and Aaron Rupar from CNN, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster from independent journalism, all accounts were suspended as of Thursday evening. Twitter accounts for Mastodon, a platform billed as a Twitter alternative, were suspended as well early Thursday evening. Journalists at NBC News were not able to tweet links to Mastodon pages. The Mastodon platform was, however, trending on Twitter. Founders Fund vice president Mike Solana tweeted that the suspended accounts had posted links to jet trackers on other websites, which led Musk to claim that the suspensions were related to the platform’s new policy banning private jet trackers.
He has suspended Donie’s account now too. Likely bc he interviewed Jack. Watch out Don.
— DebbieM🇺🇦NO FBR Lists!*Biden/Harris,Senate/House (@MkdDebbie) December 16, 2022