Twitter restores the accounts of journalists who covered Elon Musk

A day after Twitter suspended several journalists who cover Elon Musk, it appears the company has backtracked and reinstated the accounts.

The move comes after Musk detained a Twitter poll asking if accounts should be restored “now” or “in 7 days”.

“People have spoken,” the tech company’s controversial multi-billionaire owner wrote in a tweet Friday night. “Accounts that doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now.”

This week’s back and forth began on Wednesday when Twitter banned an account tracking the publicly available whereabouts of Musk’s private jet.

That account, called @ElonJet, remained suspended Friday night.

Among the journalists suspended on Thursday were Ryan Mac of the New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Matt Binder of Mashable, Drew Harwell of the Washington Post, political pundit Keith Olbermann and Steve Herman of the government-funded Voice of America. Musk had suggested Thursday evening that the suspensions would last seven days.

Harwell’s last post before being suspended concerned Twitter deleting the account of one of its competitors, Mastodon, for posting a link to its own version of the @ElonJet account that tracked Musk’s plane, according to a tweet by NBC News reporter Ben Collins. (Mastodon’s Twitter account was also suspended on Thursday.)

by Olbermann last tweet asked people to recreate Harwell’s post verbatim and link to an article by freelance journalist Aaron Rupar, whose account was also suspended, who criticized Musk for his “populist cosplay” while being one of the richest men in the world.

While most of the accounts suspended the previous night appeared to have been restored by Friday night, Olbermann’s account did not show up when searched.

On Wednesday, Twitter announced a policy update which prohibited the sharing of “live location information, including information shared directly to Twitter or links to third-party travel itinerary URLs”.

It emerged that the suspended accounts could still participate in Twitter Spaces, as several of the banned reporters discussed the news in a live audio chat room on Thursday night.

Musk briefly joined in confirming that posting a link to a page that provided real-time location tracking, like @ElonJet, was an “escape ban” and was no different than direct posting. live locations.

“You show the link to real-time information, prohibit evasion,” Musk said. “You dox, you’re suspended, end of story, that’s it.”

Musk’s apparent link between journalist suspensions and doxxing quickly drew criticism, as people pointed out that journalists did not share any location data or provide real-time tracking.

Times editor Jaimie Ding contributed to this report.

Los Angeles Times

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