'Free Speech' Advocate Musk Hit For Axing Scribes' Twitter Accounts
Elon Musk’s abrupt suspension of several journalists who cover Twitter widens a growing rift between the social media site and media organizations that have used the platform to build their audiences, Mae Anderson and Matt O’Brien reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: Reporters with the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Voice of America (VOA), and other news agencies saw their accounts go dark Thursday.
Reporters with the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Voice of America (VOA), and other news agencies saw their accounts go dark Thursday.
Editors of those media outlets lambasted Musk, who tweeted late Friday that Twitter would lift the suspensions after a poll showed 58.7% of respondents favored a move to restore those accounts while 41.3% said the suspensions should be lifted in seven days.
The company has not explained why the accounts were taken down, AP writers Kelvin Chan in London and Frank Jordans also reported.
Musk took to Twitter on Thursday night to accuse journalists of sharing private information about his whereabouts, which he bloated as “basically assassination coordinates.”
Like Donald Trump, Musk could not produce an iota of proof to his claim. Most of the journalists whose accounts went dark have written stories that Musk did not like.
The account of the decentralized social media platform Mastodon, which gained more than 3.4 million users since Musk purchased Twitter, was also axed by the highly erratic billionaire. Musk said Mastodon went down due to malware. “This is of course a bald-faced lie,” cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs posted.
Opinion columnist Bari Weiss, who tweeted out some of “The Twitter Files,” called for the suspended journalists to be reinstated.
“The old regime at Twitter governed by its own whims and biases and it sure looks like the new regime has the same problem,” she tweeted “I oppose it in both cases.”
Musk’s move sets “a dangerous precedent at a time when journalists all over the world are facing censorship, physical threats and even worse,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, Frank Bajak, Hillel Italie, and Edith Lederer also reported for AP.