Washington Post technology reporter Taylor Lorenz was briefly suspended from Twitter on Saturday for what CEO Elon Musk said was “pre-screening from this account.”
Lorenz said her account, which had nearly 340,000 followers, was removed after she sought comment from Musk on a Washington Post story she was working on.
The suspension was lifted on Sunday and Lorenz’s account was reinstated. Lorenz said she believes she was suspended because she posted links to her accounts on other social media platforms.
Musk hinted over the weekend that Lorenz’s “questioning” stemmed from allegations unearthed in a lawsuit filed against the reporter and her former employer, the New York Times, by a social media influencer’s manager.
Ariadne Jacob, 38, filed a defamation lawsuit earlier this year against Lorenz and The Times over a 2020 article that she said led to the demise of her talent management business.
Lorenz allegedly manipulated TikTok star Jacob’s clients into making malicious accusations — one of which was that Jacob leaked nude photos of a teen.
The Times denied the allegations and vowed to fight the suit in court.
On Friday, Jacob tweeted an excerpt from the lawsuit in which she accuses Lorenz of “taking her in” by linking to a Zillow page with information about the Los Angeles home she lived in at the time.
“I’m not a celebrity and I wasn’t a public person either when Taylor Lorenz asked for my address and said it wasn’t for publication then proceeded to tip me in the New York Times the address she assured me it wasn’t,” Jacob tweeted on Friday.
The article has been shared multiple times on Twitter.
Jacob’s tweet was directed at Musk, who responded, “Such disgraceful behavior will not be tolerated in the future.”
Jacob told The Post on Monday that Musk had not personally reached out to her, though she was glad the world’s second-richest man had taken an interest in her case.
“The problem with influential journalists like Taylor Lorenz is that they are rarely held accountable,” Jacob told the paper.
“Obviously, many reporters still defend Lorenz as a social media expert and victim of online harassment, but ignore our case against Lorenz and my personal story.”
She added, “It’s a stark contrast to Elon Musk, a multi-billionaire who runs multiple companies who took the time to learn my story and take swift action on what I consider to be shameful behavior.”
Lorenz was accused earlier this year of “profiling” the anonymous social media user who runs the popular account “Libs of TikTok”.
A Washington Post reporter revealed that the account, which posts unflattering videos of liberals, was created by Chaya Raichek, a Brooklyn-based real estate agent.
The account, which has more than 1.7 million Twitter followers, has been retweeted by prominent politicians and media personalities, including Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan.
Rachik criticized Lorenz for showing up at her relatives’ house while the story was being reported. Lorenz denied allegations that she harassed Reichick’s family, saying it was part of the usual legal work of gathering facts for a newspaper article.
Lorenz told Variety that she never engaged in the practice of “doxxing” — posting someone’s private, sensitive information online with the intent of causing widespread harassment.
On Sunday, Musk announced a new rule for Twitter users that bars them from operating accounts whose “primary purpose is to promote competitors, which basically falls under the anti-spam rule.”
Lorenz wrote an entry in her Substack newsletter on Saturday stating that she had been suspended.
“Earlier tonight, Elon Musk suspended my Twitter account,” Lorenz wrote. “I have not received any communication from the company regarding the reason for my suspension or the terms that I have violated.”
Lorenz also posted a video on her TikTok account in which she discussed the ban.
“Super crazy. Looks like Elon is blocking anyone he disagrees with,” Lorenz said in the video.
Lorenz attempted to circumvent Twitter’s ban by posting from another account with @nodreamsoflabor before being suspended as well.
Last week Musk suspended several journalists from Twitter after he alleged they “took advantage” of his family by posting their exact location in real time.
The Twitter boss alleged that the account tracking flights of his private jet, the now-banned Elonjet, was used by a stalker who rammed a car carrying his infant son in Los Angeles.
Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old college sophomore in Florida, denied to The Post that his @Elonjet account could be used to harass Musk’s family.
The Los Angeles Police Department said it has not received any complaints about an alleged stalker.
After a public outcry, Musk lifted the suspension of the journalists — all of whom have been left-leaning critics of the Twitter mogul’s leadership since he completed his $44 billion acquisition of the company in late October.
Lorenz has stirred controversy in the past years.
She appeared on MSNBC earlier this year and broke down in tears while describing her “PTSD” and “suicidal thoughts” after she was criticized by prominent media personalities including Tucker Carlson of Fox News and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald.
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