Twitter has also suspended the accounts of several journalists from organizations such as CNN, The Washington Post, Mashable, The New York Times, The Intercept, etc.
On Wednesday, @ElonJet, an account that tracks the movements of Elon Musk’s personal jet, was suspended from Twitter. This comes after Musk stated in November that the account was a “direct personal safety risk” but he would still not ban it due to his “commitment to free speech.”
Twitter also introduced a new policy, following the @ElonJet account suspension, prohibiting sharing live location information that includes sharing “links to 3rd-party URL(s) of travel routes.” This was only the beginning of another long series of bans.
Twitter Suspends Mastodon from Twitter
Twitter has now suspended Mastodon’s official Twitter account and although the exact reason is not clear, it’s likely that Mastodon’s tweet about @ElonJet had something to do with it.
Mastodon is a decentralised social network for people looking for a Twitter-like alternative and has recently gained overwhelming popularity in a very short amount of time. Before Mastodon’s Twitter account was suspended, its last tweet pointed to @ElonJet’s Mastodon account which appears to be a violation of the new policy against sharing live locations.
Moreover, Twitter seems to be blocking tweets that link to a lot of major Mastodon servers. If you tweet too many Mastodon links, an error message appears stating, “We can’t complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful.”
This follows after Twitter suspended the accounts of quite a few notable journalists on Thursday despite Elon Musk’s constant proclamations of free speech.
New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, Mashable’s Matt Binder, CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan, The Intercept’s Micah Lee, political commentator Keith Olbermann, independent journalist Aaron Rupar, and freelance journalist Tony Webster were removed from the platform.
Musk declared that the suspensions were a result of “doxxing,” in a reply to Breitbart’s Rebecca Mansour’s concern over the suspensions. Although Musk claimed that his family was endangered, stating in a separate tweet that,
“They posted my exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service,” there is no evidence of the journalists endangering Musk or his family in any way.
“I was banned on Thursday night immediately after sharing a screenshot from CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan moments after he was suspended,” Binder told Rolling Stone. “The screenshot was an official LAPD statement regarding the incident Elon Musk was tweeting out about last night which led him to suspend ElonJet and its creator Jack Sweeney. I did not share any location data, as per Twitter’s new terms. Nor did I share any links to ElonJet or other location-tracking accounts. I have been highly critical of Musk but never broke any of Twitter’s listed policies.”
Musk’s reign over Twitter has spiralled into a frenzy of account suspensions despite him advocating for “free speech” and tweeting catchphrases like “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” and “Transparency is the key to trust.” In April, he memorably posted, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter because that is what free speech means.”
Although this news simply adds to the pile of controversies ever since Musk’s $ 44 billion takeover of Twitter, it is yet another reminder that Twitter is working towards its own demise.