Elon Musk has been warned he could face EU sanctions “soon” after several prominent journalists were banned from Twitter.
In a sudden purge, it seems right muskThe billionaire, a self-described free speech absolutist, suggested journalists were fired for sharing personal information about him.
EU Commissioner Vera Jourova called the suspension “concerning” and said the billionaire boss risked crossing a “red line” in EU laws protecting media freedom.
“Elon Musk should realize this,” she tweeted.
“There are red lines. There will be sanctions soon.”
Affected journalists include staff from CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times and Mashable.
The German foreign ministry tweeted a screenshot of the banned account, adding: “The journalists below can no longer follow us, comment and criticize. We have a problem with this, @Twitter.”
In order to excuse the suspension, including the accounts of rival platform Mastodon, Musk said that “the same human flesh search rules apply to ‘journalists,’ and everyone else.”
Musk mentioned “doxxing rules”, which means sharing personal information, via Twitter Suspends an account that specifically tracks its owner’s jet.
He threatens legal action against @ElonJet owner, saying it’s a threat to his ‘personal safety’ Claim a ‘crazy stalker’ attacked a car with his young son.
Musk said the banned journalists were being punished for tweeting about bot accounts.
British fact-checking charity Full Fact, which fact-checks claims in the press and on social media, said the ban was a reminder that free speech was “too important to remain in the hands of any internet company”.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak did not directly criticize Musk, saying that “social media platforms must strike a balance between protecting users and maintaining free speech regardless of who owns them.”
Mastodon link blocked due to Twitter Spaces shutdown
Some of the banned journalists have since questioned the suspension of their posts on Mastodon, TwitterSimilar platforms have become a popular alternative after Musk bought them for $44 billion in October.
Mastodon itself has had its account banned on Twitter, and tweets containing links to certain servers and other content have been blocked as “potentially harmful.”
Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell, a reporter banned from Twitter, wrote on Mastodon that he recently wrote to Musk and posted a link to a “publicly available, legally obtained data” link.
Under Elon Musk, Twitter is ruled by whim.
He does what he says – what he says depends on how he feels at the time, no matter how capricious and arbitrary they may appear to others.
This development shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed Musk’s career. He has become one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his generation by supporting his instincts, regardless of who might be hurt.
But unlike cars and rockets, social networks are built on trust. Would it work if the same approach were used in a public forum involving some of Twitter’s most prominent and productive users?
What if Musk decides to ban the entire publication? Or a politician during an election? what will happen then?
Musk seems intent on proving perhaps the biggest argument against social media: that its sheer size concentrates power in too few hands, with worrying consequences for the health of democracy.
Knowing this, the founders of social media companies always carefully skirt the topic, hiding behind a plethora of self-made laws and bureaucratic procedures. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg even created a pseudo-Supreme Court to provide cover for his controversial decisions on Facebook and Instagram.
Musk’s carelessness in everything he does has paid off enormously. But at his other companies, the risk is largely contained. Now, he’s playing politics and the media around the world as he pleases.
Is it possible to continue? We’re about to find out – because if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that Mr. Musk isn’t going to change.
Read the full analysis Gentlemen.
Despite the ban, Mr Harwell was able to participate in Twitter Spaces chats — the platform’s live audio discussions — with other journalists and an @ElonJet account joined by Musk himself.
“You’re a Twitter citizen, there’s no special treatment, you doxx you get suspended,” he said.
Musk walked away from the phone after being challenged by Mr. Harwell, and the Twitter Spaces feature was later taken offline.
Musk claimed engineers were “fixing a legacy bug” and it “should work fine tomorrow.”
Everything You Need to Know About Mastodon
“Suspicious and unfortunate”
Another banned reporter, NYT’s Ryan Mac, has tweeted multiple times about @ElonJet’s suspension and interviewed its owner, 20-year-old Jack Sweeney.
A spokesperson for The New York Times said the bans were “suspicious and unfortunate” and called on all journalists to have their accounts reinstated.
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Musk has said the ban will last seven days because he ignored the results of a poll he conducted that showed a majority of people voted to restore them “now.”
His previous behavior is consistent with his Twitter poll results, such as Recovering Donald Trump’s Account.
“People power” were the first words he introduced when he introduced Twitter’s revamped Blue subscription service, It grants customers the blue tick previously reserved for verified accounts.
“Sorry, too many options. Will redo the polls,” he said.
The new version, which asks whether journalists should be reinstated immediately or within seven days, leads by nearly 20% with more than 1.7 million votes at the time of writing.
Elon Musk is no longer the richest man in the world
CNN has asked Twitter to explain the bans, the media said.
In a rare statement following Musk’s mass layoffs, Twitter’s media relations team was disrupted, with a spokesperson telling tech site The Verge that the ban was related to location data sharing.
Twitter updated its policy on Wednesday to prohibit the sharing of “real-time location information.”
That’s despite Musk tweeting last month that his commitment to free speech extends to “not even banning the account from being used behind my plane, even if it directly endangers personal safety.”
@ElonJet has now found a home on Mastodon and shared in its latest update that the plane landed in San Jose, CA on Thursday night 3 hours and 19 minutes after taking off from Austin, TX.