Elon Musk Suspends Twitter Accounts Of New York Times, Washington Post And CNN Journalists Over 'Doxxing' Controversy
Several high-profile US journalists had their Twitter accounts suspended by Elon Musk on Thursday, with the billionaire claiming that the reporters violated a recently implemented policy on sharing location information.
Among those removed from the platform were Ryan Mac of the New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, and Drew Harwell of the Washington Post.
The suspensions came after controversy surrounding the deletion of ElonJet, an account created by Jack Sweeney, a US student, that was sharing publicly available data on the location of Musk’s private jet.
After taking down the ElonJet account, Musk announced a policy change on Twitter that prohibited the disclosure of users’ “live” locations.
He stated that the ElonJet account had put his family at risk and that he planned to take legal action against Sweeney.
Some of the suspended journalists had made reference to a new ElonJet account created by Sweeney on Mastodon, a rival to Twitter.
The Mastodon platform’s Twitter account was also suspended on Thursday, with many users being prevented from sharing links to their own Mastodon profiles due to the site flagging the posts as “potentially harmful”.
“Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else,” Musk wrote on Twitter after the bans.
"Doxxing" refers to the act of publishing publish private or identifying information about a particular individual on the internet, typically with malicious intent.
Musk added, "Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not".
He later wrote the journalists’ accounts were receiving a seven-day suspension.
Earlier, Musk had said the existence of the ElonJet account was evidence of his commitment to free speech on Twitter despite it posing " adirect personal safety risk" to him.
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