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Elon Musk’s Suspension Of Journalists Exacerbates Global Conflict

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Elon Musk's Suspension Of Journalists Exacerbates Global Conflict

(CTN NEWS) – On Friday, Twitter suspended at least five journalists for allegedly revealing the real-time location of its owner Elon Musk.

The decision drew swift criticism from government officials, advocacy groups and journalism organizations around the globe.

The suspensions were condemned by officials from France, Germany, Britain, and the European Union, with some claiming the platform jeopardized press freedom.

According to critics, the episode, which one security research called the “Thursday Night Massacre”, demonstrates the billionaire’s dedication to eliminating speech and users he does not agree with.

Tesla (TSLA.O), an electric carmaker led by Elon Musk, slumped 4.7% on Friday and posted its worst weekly loss since March 2020, as investors worried about his distraction and a slowing global economy.

In response to Musk’s suspension of journalists, France’s industry minister Roland Lescure tweeted last Friday that he would suspend his Twitter activity.

United Nations communications chief Melissa Fleming tweeted that the suspensions were “deeply disturbing” and that media freedom is not a toy.

Twitter was warned by the German Foreign Office that moves that jeopardized the freedom of the press were unacceptable.

Elon Musk’s private plane was tracked by a Twitter account called ElonJet, which used publicly available information to track his plane.

Twitter suspended the account and others that tracked private jets on Wednesday, despite Elon Musk’s previous tweet saying he would not suspend ElonJet.

A few days later, Twitter changed its privacy policy to prohibit sharing “live location information.”

On Thursday evening, several journalists, including those from the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post, were suspended from Twitter without explanation.

Twitter’s trust and safety head, Ella Irwin, told Reuters overnight that the team manually reviewed “any accounts” that posted direct links to the ElonJet account in violation of the new privacy policy.

Irwin wrote, “I understand the policy is primarily focused on journalist accounts, but we apply it equally to non-journalists.”

In a statement issued on Friday, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing said Twitter’s actions violated the First Amendment.

And the principle is that social media platforms should allow the unfiltered dissemination of information already in the public realm.

He said the journalists posted his real-time location, which is “basically assassination coordinates”.

A Twitter Spaces audio chat hosted by journalists, in which Elon Musk briefly appeared, quickly became a contentious discussion about whether the suspended reporter exposed Musk’s real-time location.

In response to questions, Musk repeatedly stated, “If you dox, you get suspended. That’s it.” A dox is a malicious publication of someone’s private information.

By posting a link to ElonJet, Drew Harwell, a Washington Post journalist who had been suspended but could join the audio chat, pushed back against the idea that he had revealed Musk’s location.

BuzzFeed reporter Katie Notopoulos, who hosted the Spaces chat, tweeted that the audio session had been abruptly cut off.

Musk tweeted, “We are fixing the legacy bug. Should be working tomorrow.”.


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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