Twitter on Thursday evening suddenly suspended several high-profile journalists who cover the platform and Elon Musk, one of the richest people in the world, who acquired the company just a few months ago.
Hours after the suspensions took hold, Musk faced off with one of the journalists he suspended in a Twitter Space audio discussion before an audience of more than 30,000 listeners. The suspended journalist, along with several others, found a backdoor way onto the platform through the website’s audio function.
“You doxx, you get suspended. End of story. That’s it,” Musk said, explaining his latest policy to the group, before he left minutes after having joined the discussion.
Musk was referring to Twitter’s latest rule change about accounts that track private jets, including one owned by Musk himself, which was put in place Wednesday.
The accounts of Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Matt Binder of Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept, Steve Herman of Voice of America and independent journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster had all been suspended as of Thursday evening.
The Twitter account for Mastodon, a platform billed as a Twitter alternative, was also suspended early Thursday evening. Twitter accounts operated by NBC News journalists were unable to tweet any links to Mastodon pages. Mastodon was, however, trending on Twitter.
“Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not,” he said in another tweet.
Musk tweeted that the accounts banned Thursday posted “my exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service.” NBC News was unable to verify that allegation.
Musk later added that the suspensions would last seven days.
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