Elon Musk faces fury over Twitter ban on journalists

Elon Musk confronted A growing backlash With threats of fines and sanctions from lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, after Twitter Suspended accounts At least eight journalists on Thursday without warning.

Among the suspended accounts were those of Ryan Mack of The New York Times, Tony O’Sullivan of CNN and Drew Harwell of The Washington Post. It is unclear what suspensions have in common.

Silencing prominent voices could turn up the regulatory heat on Twitter, and Mr. Musk’s other companies could also be major recipients of government funding and programs. Getting reluctant promoters to come back to the platform could also affect his motivation.

The move sparked a wave of protests. News agencies including The Times and CNN Mr. Musk has been asked to explain his reasoning. Supporters of the journalists took to Twitter to argue that the move was too punitive.

Legislators in the European Union may go on the offensive. Vera Jourova, vice-president of the European Commission, said the move violated the EU’s digital services law and its media freedom law.

“There are red lines. And barriers, soon,” she said Tweeted Friday morning.

The recently approved Digital Services Act acts as a rule book of sorts for content review for companies operating on the block. It comes into effect next year and imposes fines 6 percent of global revenue for non-compliant companies.

Representative Lori Trahan, Democrat of Massachusetts and a member of the House Committee on Electronic Communications and Internet, also expressed displeasure with Twitter’s action. Mr. He tweeted Thursday that he had received assurances this week from the company that it does not intend to retaliate against journalists or independent analysts who cover Musk and Twitter critically.

“Within 12 hours, many tech reporters have been suspended. what a deal @elonmusk?” She wrote.

The moves came a day after Twitter Suspended Mr. More than two dozen other accounts, including that of Jack Sweeney, the 20-year-old college student behind @elonjet that tracked the movements of Musk’s private plane. Each of the suspended journalists had written about or tweeted about the flight tracking account.

The billionaire tech mogul, who describes himself as a free speech activist, introduced a new red line this week. The rule: Any Twitter user who publishes someone else’s live location or other personal information — known as doxxing — will be taken offline.

In a Twitter space discussion, Mr. Musk defended the decision to block journalists. “You dox, you’re suspended, end of story,” he said, then abruptly Dropped the call.

It’s unclear how long the suspensions will last. On Friday, Mr. Musk Survey His 121 million followers are asking him to vote on when the accounts sharing his location should be reinstated. As of 8:30 a.m. ET, nearly 60 percent had voted “now.” (Voting will be held for another 14 hours.)

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