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Elon Musk leaves banned journalists behind on Twitter


Twitter has restored the accounts of prominent reporters from The New York Times and The Washington Post. At the same time, another action shows that Musk is apparently unwilling to approach his critics.

Enlarge image

Elon Musk at an Axel Springer event in Berlin: "The people have spoken"

Photo: Hannibal Hanschke / REUTERS

Several well-known US journalists whose accounts were unexpectedly blocked by Twitter are back on the platform.

Reporters from media such as the New York Times, CNN or the Washington Post had reported critically about Elon Musk.

Musk falsely accused them of leaking details of his whereabouts, which would endanger his safety.

The media houses of those affected contradicted the claim.

CNN even accused Musk of lying.

more on the subject

  • Federal Foreign Office criticizes bans on journalists: “We have a problem with that, Twitter”

  • Elon Musk and the media: Twitter is only lost when no one is looking A comment by Patrick Beuth

  • Coverage of Elon Musk:Twitter suspends accounts of prominent US journalists

When confronted with the allegations by one of the reporters, Musk did not offer any conclusive explanation, only pointing to a new rule that prohibits the publication of private, non-public information.

However, the reporters had only reported on the case of the still blocked ElonJet account, which is already sharing public information about the location of Elon Musk's private jet.

Some of the reporters had linked the account.

Poll to justify Musk's decision

Elon Musk justified the restoration of the accounts with a survey he had started among the users of his platform.

There, almost 59 percent of the answer option agreed that Twitter should restore the blocked journalist accounts immediately and not in a week.

At the end of October, Elon Musk announced that he would set up an external panel of experts to advise on controversial blocking.

So far this body does not seem to exist.

A few days ago, however, he dissolved an existing advisory council.

'The people have spoken.

Accounts that have posted my location will be unbanned,” Musk wrote on the poll Friday night.

He repeated the claim that the media houses had already contradicted in part.

According to a spokesman, UN Secretary-General António Guterres was "very disturbed" by the "arbitrary" step.

EU Vice-President Věra Jourová described the "suspension of journalists" as "worrying".

(Read more about the criticism here.)

Celebrity conspiracy theorists unlocked again

On Friday, Twitter again allowed several previously banned right-wing conspiracy theorists back onto its platform.

According to the monitoring portal Media Matters, there are around 12 accounts.

Among them, for example, the wide-ranging Trump supporter James O'Keefe, who immediately fueled the false theory that the 2020 US election had been manipulated using voting machines.

A well-known QAnon supporter posted a selfie with a gun on her return.

At the same time, the business journalist Linette Lopez, who has been investigating Tesla for several years, was blocked on Twitter on Friday.

For example, she had reported that a problem with the tire suspension that had been known for years had led to accidents involving Tesla models.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-12-17

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