Twitter: Elon Musk reinstated the suspended accounts of some journalists

Twitter: Elon Musk reinstated the suspended accounts of some journalists

The Twitter accounts of several journalists, suspended after being accused by Elon Musk of endangering his family, were restored on Saturday December 17, but some said they had been ordered to delete publications linked to the geographical position of the multi-billionaire. they wanted to fully utilize the platform. Elon Musk had drawn the wrath of the European Union and the UN by suspending the accounts of journalists from CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post in particular, the Vice-President of the European Commission even threatening him with sanctions . He then launched a poll on Twitter asking if he should restore the suspended accounts immediately or within a week. Nearly 59% of the 3.69 million Internet users who took part in the survey replied that he should restore them immediately.

“The people have spoken. Accounts that posted my location will have their suspension lifted,” the businessman tweeted late Friday. On Saturday, the accounts of freelance journalist Aaron Rupar, Mashable reporter Matt Binder and freelance writer Tony Webster had been reactivated. Others remained suspended, such as those of Linette Lopez (Business Insider) and former MSNBC presenter, turned columnist, Keith Olbermann. CNN journalist Donie O’Sullivan, who works extensively on Elon Musk, said that although his account was visible again on Saturday, Twitter had imposed a condition on him so that he could tweet again: that he remove a post. which the network believes violates its privacy policy. “At this time, I either agree to delete this tweet at the request of the billionaire, or I will not be allowed to tweet on the platform,” he told CNN.

It all started with the suspension of @elonjet

This latest controversy involving Elon Musk began on Wednesday when the boss of Tesla and SpaceX announced that he was suspending @elonjet, an account that automatically reported the journeys of his private jet. Some accounts then tweeted about the decision. Elon Musk had justified the suspension of the accounts by arguing that they endangered his safety as well as that of his family. He claimed in a tweet on Wednesday that a vehicle with one of his children on board was tracked in Los Angeles by “a crazed stalker”, appearing to create a causal link to the real-time positioning of his jet.

“They posted my exact location in real time, literally the coordinates for an assassination, in direct (and obvious) violation of Twitter’s terms of service,” he also said. Twitter did not say why these accounts were suspended. The owner of the social network, source of many controversies since he bought it in October, however gave some indications. “Everyone will be treated the same,” he said in an audio conversation organized live on Twitter on Friday, indicating that there would be no privileges for journalists. Relaunched on the subject, Mr. Musk left the discussion and then deactivated the Twitter Spaces audio chat service, citing a “technical problem”.

The reactivation of accounts, good news for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

In a tweet posted overnight from Thursday to Friday, Mr. Musk announced a temporary suspension of 7 days for “accounts involved in doxxing”. The term “doxxing” means publicly disclosing personal information about an individual on the Internet, without their consent. The reactivation of the accounts was welcomed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, who called it “good news”. “But serious concerns remain”, he however explained on the social network, stressing that “Twitter has a responsibility in terms of respect for human rights”.


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Journalist Aaron Rupar said on MSNBC that even temporary suspensions would have a “frightening” impact on how Elon Musk would be covered by the media. Since taking over the platform for $44 billion, the billionaire has sent mixed messages about what is and isn’t allowed on it. Fervent defender of a great freedom of expression – as long as the remarks respect the law – he restored accounts previously banned by the social network, including that of Donald Trump. But he also suspended that of Kanye West after the publication of several messages deemed anti-Semitic and refused the return to the platform of the far-right conspirator, Alex Jones.


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