Outrage After Musk Suspends Journalists From Twitter

There is growing outrage over the suspension of several U.S. journalists from Twitter after they reported on its owner, Elon Musk. 

Musk’s social media company blocked half a dozen reporters for apparently violating Twitter rules. 

The accounts included journalists who worked for CNN, The New York Times, and Washington Post. 

Musk says that the accounts were blocked for doxxing, which is the sharing of private information when they covered the story of a now-deleted account that followed Musk’s private jet location. 

But the journalists say they don’t understand the suspension calling it “questionable and unfortunate.” 

All of this comes as some of the journalists in question were critical of Musk in recent weeks — raising concerns that this is personal. 

The action to bar dissenting journalists from Twitter may directly counter Musk’s previous claims that he hopes to make Twitter a “healthy, functioning free speech” where even his “worst critics” have a place.

Musk, formerly the world’s richest man, who bought the social media platform for $44 billion earlier this year, accused the journalists of posting “assassination coordinates” by publicizing the ElonJet account, which was suspended earlier.

“Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not,” Musk tweeted.

He did clarify how he thought they had done so. And he hung up on a Twitter Spaces audio chat after clashing with some of the journalists he banned.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of many who has critiqued Musk after suspending journalists. In a pair of tweets, AOC (D-NY) accused Musk of “abuse of power”

“Take a beat and lay off the proto-fascism. Maybe try putting down your phone,” she wrote, sharing one of Musk’s tweets.

The European Union also took issue with his actions. The EU warned Musk that Twitter could be subject to sanctions under a future media law after the “worrying” suspension of several journalists from the messaging platform.

“News about the arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is worrying. EU’s Digital Services Act requires respect for media freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced under our Media Freedom Act,” EU commissioner Vera Jourova posted on Twitter.

Jourova’s warning came backed by two pieces of EU legislation, one of them not yet adopted.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) requires companies serving European web users to meet strict standards against manipulative algorithms, disinformation, and other online harm.

The second legislation, the EU’s Media Freedom Act (MFA), has been proposed by the European Commission but not yet made into law.

It seeks to protect media pluralism and independence in an increasingly digital space. This ensures media outlets are not unduly pressured and are able to remain editorially independent.

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