Elon Musk continues to silence journalists who banned him from Twitter

Photo illustration: The Intercept/Getty Images

I was writing Billionaire Elon Musk has been critical of Twitter since taking over – particularly over its hypocrisy on “free speech” and its censorship of left-wing accounts. This must have angered him. Last week, he suspended me and eight other journalists from Twitter.

We’ve all pointed out that Musk censored a Twitter account, ElonJet, which used public data to post the location of his private jet, but ElonJet has moved on to rival social networks, like Mastodon, that haven’t censored the account. Musk accused us ofhex“His by posting”The coordinates of the assassinationHe then tried to blame his anger on an alleged stalking incident unrelated to the @ElonJet account.

My suspension only lasted for a few days before my account was reinstated. When people visit my twitter Profile personly, it no longer says “Account Suspended” and it looks as if I’m back on the platform. Friends and strangers alike have reached out to me saying it’s good to see I’m back on Twitter. It’s an illusion.

In fact, I’m still locked out of my Twitter account unless I agree to delete a specific tweet on Twitter By order of a billionaire. Many of the other arrested journalists are in the same boat. (Twitter, where the communications team was decimated by Musk’s layoffs, did not immediately respond to a message for comment.)

When I log into my Twitter account, the site is replaced with the following message: “Your account has been locked”. Twitter is accusing me of violating its rules against posting private information. (In the 13 years I’ve used Twitter, I’ve never broken any rules, and my account has never been suspended or locked until now.)

To unlock my account, I have to remove the offending tweet, which in my case said, “Twitter has banned the official Mastodon Twitter account @joinmastodon with 174,000 followers, possibly because it tweeted a link to the Mastodon account @ElonJet. Twitter is now censoring the posting of the link, but the user is @ElonJet.[email protected]”

Remove screenshot tweet

Screenshot: Mika Lee

I don’t want To bend the knee to the insane king of Twitter, so I petitioned. She wrote: “My tweet is about Twitter censoring rival social network Mastodon.” “This is a suppression of speech that would not have happened before Elon Musk came to power.” Two days later, I got an update from Twitter: “Our support team has determined that a violation has occurred, and is therefore We will not change our decision.”

My alleged notification is that I posted private information on Twitter by linking to @ElotJet’s account on Mastodon or, in my case, mentioning the username and showing the link in a screenshot. On the face of it, this is silly – I haven’t posted private info, let alone “assassination coordinates” – but a quick search on Twitter for https://mastodon.social/@ElonJet shows plenty of other accounts have to publish This same link is not locked yet.

I am not the only journalist suspended from my account. Some journalists like Drew Harwell of The Washington Post wrote on Mastodon about being denied entry. “For anyone wondering, I still can’t access Twitter until I delete this tweet, factual journalism that doesn’t even break a site rule that Twitter enacted a few days ago,” Harwell wrote. He attached a screenshot to the tweet.

And in CNN interviewDonny O’Sullivan, another suspended journalist, explained that his account was also locked. “Right now, unless I agree to take that tweet down by order of the billionaire, I won’t be allowed to tweet on the platform,” he said. He also filed an appeal.

Matt Binder of Mashable was Not suspended After the mass ban, but he wrote on Mastodon that when he wrote to a Twitter admin to ask how he violated company policy, he was then banned. “It seems they forgot to force me to delete the tweet the first time, like they did with other arrested journalists,” he wrote.

Voice of America’s Steve Herrmann, whose account was also suspended last week, told CNN over the weekend, “When I woke up this morning, I saw a bunch of news stories saying my account had been reinstated into other people’s accounts. Well, that’s not entirely true.” “. Herrmann explained that Musk was demanding that he delete three offensive tweets, all about @ElotJet.

The New York Times reported that the account of its suspended journalist, Ryan Mack, was also closed, on the condition that he chose to delete posts that Twitter indicated violated rules against posting private information.

Other journalists who were suspended for their tweets related to @ElonJet are back entirely, including Aaron Robar and Tony Webster.

Personally, I have no intention of giving in to Musk’s petty demands. We’ll see if anything changes. In the meantime, you can follow me on Mastodon at mi[email protected]and The Intercept at @[email protected].


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