Twitter suspends accounts of several journalists, blocks Mastodon following Elon Musk doxxing row
The ElonJet account suspension led to many more bansBy Rob Thubron 47 comments
What just happened? If there's one thing you can say about Twitter since Elon Musk took over, it's that the platform is rarely out of the news cycle. The latest from Twitter Today involves more of Musk seemingly ignoring his promise of embracing free speech by suspending the accounts of several journalists and banning links to rival social network Mastodon.
The eventful last few days started with Musk banning @ElonJet, one of the accounts belonging to student Jack Sweeney who tracks the private jets of the rich and famous to hold them accountable for their environmental impact. That particular account followed Musk's jet, and it was banned despite Musk previously promising not to touch it.
The Twitter owner later tweeted: "Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info."
Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 16, 2022
Musk then tweeted a video showing someone he claimed was following his son; the person believed it was the billionaire. "Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family," he tweeted.
Anyone recognize this person or car? pic.twitter.com/2U0Eyx7iwl— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 15, 2022
Twitter suspended the accounts of several high-profile journalists who report on Musk, including Ryan Mac of The New York Times, CNN's Donie O'Sullivan, The Washington Post's Drew Harwell, The Intercept's Micha Lee, Mashable's Matt Binder, Aaron Rupar, and Tony Webster.
In a Twitter Spaces live audio chat that the banned journalists were able to join, Musk said they were booted for tweeting links to ElonJet accounts set up on other platforms, including Facebook and Mastodon.
Here is Elon's full appearance in @katienotopoulos' spaces with banned journalists tonight pic.twitter.com/1xPFtrVjf6— Brennan Murphy (@brenonade) December 16, 2022
Next in Musk's firing line was Mastodon itself. The company's Twitter account was suspended after it tweeted a link to the ElonJet page on Mastodon. Twitter has also stopped users from posting any links to the site—trying to do so will bring up a message that reads: "We can't complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful."
Musk's next move was to tweet a poll asking when he should unsuspend accounts that "doxed my exact location in real-time." From the options of 'Now,' 'Tomorrow,' '7 days from now,' or 'Longer,' the most popular answer was 'Now' with 43% of the votes. Musk then said there were too many options, so he redid the poll with just 'Now' and 'In 7 Days' as the choices. Once again, 'Now' is leading by almost 60%.
Unsuspend accounts who doxxed my exact location in real-time— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 16, 2022
In non-Twitter related Musk news, the world's second-richest person sold another $3.58 billion worth of Tesla shares this week.