Twitter Suspends Some Journalist Accounts and Blocks Links to Mastodon

Elon Musk often likes to describe himself as a free-speech absolutist. However, his latest actions as the CEO of Twitter don’t reflect that at all.

Since yesterday, more than half a dozen journalists from high-profile publications such as the New York Times and The Washington Post have had their Twitter account suspended after the platform updated its policies regarding the publication of “live location information.”

Musk precisely accused the suspended journalists of sharing information about his location. “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not,” Musk tweeted.

The suspensions happened after Twitter banned the @elonjet account, which used public data to track the movements of Elon Musk’s private jet. As it turns out, reporters covering this information without being extremely careful can have their Twitter account suspended.

In Elon Musk’s words, the “same doxxing rules apply to “journalists” as to everyone else.” The exec also tweeted that “accounts engaged in doxxing receive a temporary 7 day suspension.”

Unfortunately for Elon Musk, what seems to be the arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter may expose the company to sanctions. “EU’s Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced under our Media Freedom Act. Elon Musk should be aware of that,” tweeted European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova. “There are red lines. And sanctions, soon,” Jourova continued.

To add fuel to the fire, it appears that Twitter has also suspended the account of Mastodon, the decentralized social network that has been gaining steam since Elon Musk took over Twitter. Worse, Twitter users are reporting that posting links to Mastodon servers in tweets is no longer possible.

Overall, this is definitely not a great look for Twitter, especially at a time when the platform needs to put a good face on to get advertisers back on board and convince users to pay for Twitter Blue. Musk’s latest actions are very likely going to have the opposite effect.

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