Twitter suspends accounts of several journalists who covered Elon Musk

Several journalists who covered Elon Musk were suspended from Twitter on Thursday night, days after an account tracking the whereabouts of Musk’s private jet was also banned from the platform.

Among those whose accounts were suspended are Ryan Mac from the New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan from CNN, Matt Binder from Mashable, Drew Harwell from the Washington Post, political pundit Keith Olbermann and Steve Herman from the government-funded Voice of America.

Harwell’s last post before being suspended was about Twitter removing the account of one of its competitors, Mastodon, for posting a link to its own version of the @ElonJet account that tracked Musk’s plane, according to a tweet from NBC News reporter Ben Collins.

Olbermann’s last tweet asked people to re-create word for word Harwell’s post and link to an article by independent journalist Aaron Rupar, whose account was also suspended, that criticized Musk for his “populist cosplay” while being one of the richest men in the world.

Mac tweeted from a newly created account that he was given no warning or explanation about his suspension.

“I report on Twitter, Elon Musk and his companies. And I will continue to do so,” he tweeted. Collins confirmed in a tweet that the new account, @MacSilenced, was the real Mac.

The nine or more accounts banned Thursday night are not the first to be taken down after tweeting about Musk.

The @ElonJet account was previously suspended, briefly reinstated, and removed again despite Musk’s previous promise to leave the account alone.

“My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk,” Musk said in a Nov. 6 tweet.

Musk, a self-described free speech absolutist, vowed to make sweeping changes to the social media platform once he finalized his control over the company. He was critical of Twitter’s ban on certain kinds of speech and questioned whether those rules undermined democracy.

Last month, Twitter reinstated the account of former President Trump, who was suspended in January for his role in inciting a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol. Under Musk, the company also restored the accounts of other controversial users, including conservative Canadian podcaster Jordan Peterson and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

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