January 27, 2023

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Elon Musk faces mounting anger over banning journalists on Twitter

Elon Musk faces mounting anger over banning journalists on Twitter

Elon Musk faced A Growing backlash On Friday from MPs on both sides of the Atlantic, with threats of fines and penalties, Twitter followed Accounts suspended At least eight journalists on Thursday without warning.

The suspended accounts included those belonging to Ryan Mack of The New York Times, Donnie O’Sullivan of CNN and Drew Harwell of The Washington Post. It was not clear what the suspensions had in common.

Silencing prominent voices could increase regulatory pressure on Twitter, and potentially Mr. Musk’s other companies, including Tesla and SpaceX, which are major recipients of government funding and projects. It could also hurt his push to get reluctant advertisers back on the platform.

This action sparked a wave of protests. News organizations including The Times and CNN have demanded that Mr. Musk explain his rationale. Supporters of the journalists argued on Twitter that the move was overly punitive.

EU lawmakers may go on the offensive. Vera Jourova, Vice-President of the European Commission, said the move violated the EU’s Digital Services Act and Media Freedom Act.

There are red lines. Sanctions, soon. chirp Friday morning.

The recently ratified Digital Services Act serves as a kind of rulebook on content moderation for companies operating in the bloc. come into effect next year, And holds a fine 6 percent of global revenue for companies that break the rules.

Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Massachusetts and a member of the House Committee on Electronic Communications and the Internet, also expressed her dismay at Twitter’s move. On Thursday, it tweeted that it had received assurances this week from the company that it had no plans to retaliate against journalists or independent researchers who critically cover Musk and Twitter.

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Less than 12 hours later, several tech reporters have been suspended. What’s the deal? @elonmusk? ” I wrote.

These moves came a day after Twitter suspended More than two dozen other accounts, including one belonging to Jack Sweeney, the 20-year-old college student behind @elonjet, which tracked the movements of Mr. Musk’s private jet. Each of the arrested journalists wrote or tweeted about the account tracking the plane.

The billionaire tech mogul, who describes himself as the ultimate free-speech mogul, introduced a new red line this week after claiming that a car carrying one of his children could be run over by a “crazy stalker.” The rule: Any Twitter user who posts the live location or other personal information of another person — an act known as doxxing — will be taken offline.

In a discussion in Twitter Spaces, Mr. Musk defended the decision to ban journalists. He said, “You dox, you’re being suspended, end of story,” and then all of a sudden leave the call.

It is unclear how long the suspensions will last. On Friday, Mr. Musk consulted His 121 million followers, he asks them to vote on when to bring back accounts that share his location. As of 8:30 a.m. ET, nearly 60 percent have voted “now.” (The survey will continue for another 14 hours.)