Twitter suspends journalists who have been covering Elon Musk and the company; Elon Musk, one of the wealthiest men in the world, recently purchased Twitter, and Twitter abruptly suspended several prominent journalists who cover the platform on Thursday evening.
Musk debated one of the suspended journalists in front of more than 30,000 listeners during a Twitter Space audio discussion hours after the suspensions went into effect. The website’s audio feature allowed the suspended journalist and several others to access the platform through a backdoor.
You are suspended, Doxx. Story over. After briefly joining the discussion and outlining his most recent policy to the group, Musk concluded, “That’s it.
Musk was referring to the most recent Twitter policy adjustment regarding accounts that track private jets, including one owned by Musk himself, which went into effect on Wednesday.
Read more: Tesla Investors Express Unease About Elon Musk’s Preoccupation With Twitter
After Musk left the conversation, Twitter’s Spaces feature and the audio discussion were abruptly shut down. Tweeted Musk, “A Legacy bug is being fixed. Should report to work on Monday.”
The suspension of numerous journalists was the topic of conversation. As of Thursday night, the accounts of independent journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann, and Tony Webster, as well as those of Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Matt Binder of Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept, Steve Herman of Voice of America, and Donie O’Sullivan of The Washington Times had all been suspended.
Early on Thursday night, Mastodon’s Twitter account, which bills itself as a Twitter substitute, was also shut down. NBC News journalists could not tweet links to Mastodon pages from their official Twitter accounts. However, Mastodon was a hot topic on Twitter.
In response to a tweet from Mike Solana, vice president of the venture capital firm Founders Fund, who noted that the suspended accounts had posted links to jet trackers on other websites, Musk claimed that the suspensions were due to the platform’s new rules prohibiting private jet trackers.
He mentioned that on Wednesday, he had tweeted a link to a Facebook page that tracked Musk’s aircraft.
Mashable tech reporter Binder claimed that his suspension came from his tweeting a screenshot of a Los Angeles Police Department statement from CNN’s suspended reporter O’Sullivan.
“I started using it in 2008. I always follow the rules, so I never even received a slap on the wrist, “Added Binder. “When you know the rules, it’s not difficult to do.”
According to Binder, his account informed him that he had been permanently suspended.
Binder said of Musk, “This is the very stuff he’s criticized the previous Twitter of doing.”
By participating in an audio discussion on Twitter’s Spaces feature with other journalists on Thursday night, Binder did seem to find a way around Twitter’s suspension. Later, Harwell also joined.
Binder jokingly said, “I’m breaking the law in ways that have never been broken before.”
Despite having his account suspended, Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old Florida college student who set up the Twitter account that tracked Musk’s jet, could still participate in the conversation.
Later on, Musk briefly participated in the conversation, stating his talking points before abruptly leaving. When and if he should reinstate the journalists’ accounts, he had earlier posted a poll with several choices. He deleted the poll and started a new one with fewer options after most voters restored the accounts immediately.
Sweeney, the creator of the @ElonJet account, claimed that a “stalker” confronted a car carrying his child in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Musk then appeared to threaten legal action against Sweeney.
Musk did not offer evidence that Sweeney or his account was at fault. He made no mention of the time or place in the vast metropolis where he said the incident took place.
The last time Sweeney’s bot tweeted anything was on Monday, “which is not last night, so I don’t get how that’s connected,” he said to NBC News on Wednesday. Sweeney also claimed that he hadn’t received any notice of legal action.
No police reports have been filed, according to the Los Angeles Police Department on Thursday.
“The Los Angeles Police Department’s Threat Management Unit is in touch with Elon Musk’s representatives and security team about the situation and tweet. According to a statement released by Officer Lizeth Lomeli, a police public information officer, no crime reports have yet been filed.
Other law enforcement agencies also patrol parts of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.