Elon Musk has recently banned eight journalist accounts from Twitter after they allegedly broke the platform’s doxxing rules.
Donie O’Sullivan, Ryan Mac, Drew Harwell, Micah Lee, Steve Herman, Matt Binder, Keith Olbermann, and Aaron Rupar were among journalists whose accounts were purged from the platform, according to Fox News. These journalists represent media companies such as CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others.
Musk immediately came under fire from all sides for the alleged reversal of his “free speech” policies. The billionaire responded that he only suspended their accounts because they doxxed his family and put them in imminent danger.
Musk reinstated all of the above accounts after he conducted a Twitter poll asking when he should reinstate the accounts to the platform. 43% of users voted “now.”
Musk had previously banned the @ElonJet account for tracking the whereabouts of his private jet, which he viewed as “real-time doxxing” and “endangering his family.” He also threatened to take legal action against the owner of the account for sharing a video of a “crazy stalker” publicly harassing his child in Los Angeles.
Many mainstream outlets, journalists, and commentators have been critical of the new CEO’s policies, criticizing him for what they see is a reversal on his supposed “free speech absolutism.” However, there is no record of Musk ever claiming to be a free speech absolutist.
Ben Collins was recently suspended from MSNBC and NBC by his employer, NBC News for his unprofessional attacks on Musk.
Following the suspensions, CNN announced that they are “reevaluating their relationship with Twitter.”
“The impulsive and unjustified suspension of a number of reporters, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, is concerning but not surprising,” the CNN statement read. “Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses Twitter. We have asked Twitter for an explanation, and we will reevaluate our relationship based on that response.”
A number of media outlets such as The Washington Post and The New York Times reportedly released similar statements in an effort to pressure Musk into reinstating the reporter’s accounts.