After severe criticism of the blocking of journalist accounts, Twitter boss Elon Musk announced that the channels would be released again. But apparently he sets conditions that not everyone wants to meet.
Elon Musk’s promise to unblock journalists’ Twitter accounts seems to have a catch: As CNN correspondent Donie O’Sullivan reports, his channel on the short message service is visible again, but Twitter has given him conditions so that he can be there could also post something again. The company is asking him to remove one of his earlier messages, which it says violates Twitter policies.
Musk initially blocked the user account @ElonJet on Wednesday, on which a young US student documented publicly available data about the flights of the multi-billionaire’s private jet. Several prominent media representatives reported on the student’s activities, sometimes linking to @ElonJet. Musk then blocked the journalists – including those from the “New York Times”, “Washington Post” and CNN – and accused them of doxxing, i.e. passing on personal data including information such as the address. They had provided the “coordinates for an assassination attempt” against him and his family, Musk claimed, without providing any evidence (read more about this here).
Elon Musk sets conditions for release of Twitter account
After fierce criticism of the lockdowns, even echoed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, EU officials and the German federal government, and a Twitter poll conducted by Musk himself, in which the majority voted to lift the lockdowns “immediately”. the 51-year-old finally announced that the affected channels would be released again. “Accounts that have posted my location will be unbanned,” he wrote on Twitter on Friday night, US West Coast time.
But the 51-year-old has apparently only partially kept this promise, because so far only a few of the journalists have been able to tweet again. When he logs into his account, a prompt appears to remove a tweet that allegedly violates Twitter’s rules about posting private information because it contains a link to @ElonJet, said O’Sullivan, who covers technology for CNN. the US broadcaster. “Until I agree to remove this tweet at the behest of the billionaire, I am no longer allowed to tweet on the platform.”
However, O’Sullivan made it clear that he would not bow to Musk’s demand. The accusation that his tweet contains a direct link to @ElonJet is not true at all. “I linked to another Twitter account that had been banned and that had posted a link to @ElonJet.” But there is an opportunity to appeal the ban, the CNN correspondent explained. “I do, and we’ll see what happens.”
Twitter blocks another journalist
The Twitter accounts of “Business Insider” reporter Linette Lopez, who has repeatedly reported critically about Musk’s electric car company Tesla, and apparently the channel of former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann were still blocked on Sunday afternoon. The bans, coupled with Twitter’s request to either remove tweets or appeal alleged violations, could “potentially have a chilling effect” on those reporting on Musk, O’Sullivan warned.
On Saturday evening – after Musk announced the release of the journalist accounts – Twitter then even excluded another media worker. After Taylor Lorenz from the “Washington Post” first asked Musk via email and then via tweet if the tech billionaire wanted to comment on a possible story with her and her “Post” colleague Drew Harwell, her channel was blocked, reports the US website Mediaite.
“Hi Elon, @drewhartwell and I have sent you a few emails on this subject. We have received some information that we would like to share and discuss with you,” Mediaite quoted the tweet as saying. “We take this matter very seriously and want to ensure it is pursued in the right way. Thank you.” Harwell is one of the journalists who Twitter had already suspended on Thursday for alleged doxxing.
In a statement to US broadcaster NBC News, Lorenz condemned the Twitter blockade: “I think the way Musk arbitrarily bans anyone he personally dislikes has dangerous consequences for free speech.”
Sources: CNN, Mediaite, NBC News, Linette Lopez on Twitter, Taylor Lorenz on Twitter