Thumbs up or thumbs down. Elon Musk made a similar decision the future of dozens of journalists on Twitter. The businessman suspended the accounts of several whistleblowers on Thursday, without warning, for allegedly violating the rules of the social network he bought in October. The silence he imposed on well-known reporters such as CNN, Washington Post s New York timesAmong other things, it sparked concern around the world about the gesture threatening freedom of expression. Faced with these tensions, Qutb submitted to consultation to lift the sentence. More than 3.6 million users participated in the survey. 59% sided with the reporters. excellent. Journalists are back, but Musk’s record remains.
“People have spoken up,” Musk said tonight after the 24-hour poll closed. “The penalty will be lifted for the accounts that shared my location,” the businessman added. This was the second poll. Thursday night he did a similar exercise (with the same result), but wanted to repeat it because the previous one offered too many options. Accounts returned immediately.
“I want to thank everyone for their support and kind words,” Arun Ropar wrote after returning to the podium. “At first, I was so sad to be surprised, but I soon realized everything was going to be fine,” added the freelance journalist, who has nearly 800,000 followers.
For Musk, the problem was an alleged violation of Twitter’s code of conduct, which was amended Wednesday night after an incident involving one of his 10 children, X AE A-12. The businessman revealed that day that the minor was followed by a Hyundai driver in Los Angeles, who then blocked the way to the car and climbed onto the hood. It targeted billionaire Jack Sweeney, the user behind the ElonJet account, which tracks the billionaire’s private jet flights in real time. “Legal action has been taken against Sweeney and the organizations that supported harming my family,” wrote Musk, who insists his plane uses special software that allows it to block its location from public radars.
Not only did Twitter remove the account managed by Sweeney, but his personal account. On Wednesday, the social network deleted 25 users who, according to the company, shared personal information in real time, which is known in network parlance as hex. Musk reported Friday evening that the social network will allow those who pay for a Twitter Blue subscription, which costs eleven dollars a month, to be blocked and silenced. These functions can be used to penalize the opinion of other users.
On Thursday evening, while many were looking for explanations for the comment of journalists writing about the technology, it was revealed that this was the reason for the punishment. The source was Musk himself, who joined the Spaces (Twitter function that allows audio) conversation to talk about it. “In the future there will be no discrimination between journalists, or those who call themselves journalists… everyone will be treated the same. They are not privileged, they are citizens like everyone else. If you share locations they will be suspended. End of story,” said the tycoon Among Hundreds of participants. Some of these journalists are banned from Twitter.
When reporters began asking Musk questions, he withdrew from the conversation. The Spaces function disappeared minutes later, to the surprise of many. He returned several hours later, around Friday afternoon, when Musk announced he was They have re-empoweredBut she still has a lot of problems. Katie Notopoulos, journalist from buzzfeed who hosted Musk’s explanations, on Friday afternoon claimed that his account was banned from Spaces because of his presence You violated the platform rules.
Several of the suspended journalists, who returned to the podium today, have defended themselves by ensuring that the real-time location of Musk’s private jet is not shared. This is the case of Lynette Lopez, a journalist from Business interestedwhich was deleted from Twitter on Friday morning. I wasn’t tweeting about his site, but court documents from his lawsuit against one of my sources and where Elon himself threatens to reveal personal information to his critics. His security team also admits they hacked into, harassed and threatened my sources, Lopez said on MSNBC, including accessing his email and photos of his children. The economics columnist admitted that some of the documents she posted online may have included the email address of the Tesla owner.
Something similar was told to this newspaper by Steve Herman, one of the affected reporters. journalist from Washington Post The one who was suspended, Drew Harwell, added context to the discussion by saying that his newspaper had previously used public information from private jet flights for news stories. In March of this year, they followed a plane carrying Donald Trump that had to make an emergency landing in New Orleans due to an engine problem. In 2018, they ran a story about the paper’s owner, Jeff Bezos, and his 12-month trips in his Gulfstream G650ER, most of them bound for Los Angeles.
The sentence appears to have reaffirmed the conviction of many of those affected. Ryan Mack, journalist from New York times He was expelled from the social network, after which he sent a message from an alternate account: “I write about Elon Musk and his companies and will continue to do so.” The secondary account has also been removed.
Tony Webster, a student at the University of Wyoming who is also a photographer and journalist, doubled down on strength after the suspension. The young man said he would continue to use his ADS-B receiver to follow aircraft in his environment and with public media support. “Tracking is protected by the First Amendment and has facilitated a lot of reporting,” Webster wrote on Mastodon, a nascent social network that many migrated to after Elon Musk’s Twitter stint.
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