A number of prominent journalists who write about Twitter and its billionaire owner Elon Musk were abruptly banned from the site on Thursday evening.
Musk engaged in an audio chat with one of the suspended journalists on Twitter Space which was heard by almost 30,000 people. The suspended journalist and several others used the website’s audio capability to gain access to the platform.
If you leak someone’s private information, you will be immediately dismissed from your position. This concludes the tale. Minutes after joining the conversation, Musk abruptly withdrew after explaining his most recent policy.
Musk was referring to a change in Twitter policy that went into effect on Wednesday regarding accounts that follow private jets such as the one Musk owns.
Elon Musk and Tesla journalists are Suspended by Twitter
As of Thursday night, the accounts of New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan, Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell, Mashable’s Matt Binder, The Intercept’s Micah Lee, Voice of America’s Steve Herman and freelance journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann, and Tony Webster had all been suspended.
Early Thursday evening, the Twitter account for Mastodon a service designed to compete with Twitter was deactivated. Tweets from NBC News journalists’ accounts were unable to share links to Mastodon profiles. However, Mastodon was one of the top trending topics on Twitter.
In response to a tweet from Mike Solana, vice president of the venture capital firm Founders Fund, who pointed out that the blocked accounts had posted links to jet trackers on other websites, Musk stated the bans were from the platform’s new regulations barring private jet trackers.
Critiquing him all day long was acceptable, but revealing his whereabouts in real-time and putting his family at risk was not, he wrote on Twitter.
Musk claimed on Twitter that the banned accounts had shared “my exact real-time location, effectively assassination coordinates,” in clear violation of Twitter’s rules. That claim could not be confirmed by NBC News.
Musk elaborated that the bans would be in place for a whole week. Just after he took over Twitter in early November Musk declared that he would not be blocking the user who had been following his plane.
Substack user Rupar reported that he had been permanently suspended but gave no further details.
Nothing from Twitter at all,” he complained”.
On Wednesday he tweeted a link to a Facebook page that followed Musk’s plane he said. Mashable’s tech writer Binder claimed he was fired after tweeting a screenshot of a statement released by the Los Angeles Police Department that had been taken by O’Sullivan, who was also fired.
Since 2008, I have been using it. By never breaking the regulations, Binder claims he has never even received a warning. In other words, “It’s not hard to do when you know what the regulations are.”
Binder claims he was informed by his account that he has been banned indefinitely. To quote Binder: “This is the precise stuff that he’s chastised the prior Twitter of doing.” — Elon Musk.
Binder did seem to find a way around the restriction by participating in a Thursday night audio chat on Twitter’s Spaces feature with other journalists. Harwell eventually signed on, too. Binder joked, “I’m breaking the law in ways that no one has broken the law before.”
Jack Sweeney a 20-year-old college student from Florida was able to participate in the conversation despite having his suspended Twitter account. Sweeney built the account that monitored Musk’s plane.
Musk later joined the conversation, but only for a little time, during which he rolled out his talking points before abruptly departing. Earlier, he had posted a poll with several options, including when and whether to restore the journalists’ accounts. When the majority of voters decided that the accounts should be restored immediately he scrapped the poll and started over with fewer options.
On Thursday, O’Sullivan said that the other suspended journalists were all covering Musk. O’Sullivan stated on CNN, “As we saw with the jet tracker last night, Musk seems to be just stamping out accounts that he doesn’t like.”
The network’s representative called the suspensions “impulsive and unwarranted,” which isn’t that shocking given the circumstances.
Sweeney told NBC News on Wednesday that he hasn’t gotten any notice of legal action and that the last time his bot tweeted anything was on Monday adding “which is not last night, so I don’t know how that’s connected.”
Last Thursday, L.A. PD said that no official reports had been submitted.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Threat Management Unit has been briefed on the current situation and Elon Musk’s tweet, and they have been in touch with Musk’s representatives and security staff. According to a statement released by Police Officer Lizeth Lomeli on Thursday night, no allegations of criminal activity have been made.
The greater Los Angeles area is covered by multiple law enforcement agencies.
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