Dec 15 (Reuters) – Twitter on Thursday suspended the accounts of several prominent journalists who wrote about her new husband, Elon Musk, as the billionaire’s rule against publishing personal information on his Twitter account applies to everyone, including journalists.

Responding to a tweet about the account bans, Musk tweeted: 「」「」」「」 “Doxxing” refers to Twitter’s rules that prohibit personal information.

On Wednesday, Twitter suspended @elonjet, an account that used real-time tracking of Musk’s private jet in the public domain. Musk threatened to take legal action against the operator of the account, saying that his son mistakenly followed a “crazy seeker”.

Musk added on Thursday: “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but hiding my real-time location and putting my family at risk is not.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The ban comes after Musk repeatedly vowed to protect free speech on the platform he bought for $44 billion in October. January 6, 2021 He reinstated the account of former President Donald Trump, who was suspended from Twitter for his actions in connection with the siege of the US Capitol.

“I hope even my worst critics stay on Twitter, because that’s what free speech is all about,” Musk tweeted in April.

Twitter has been operating with a significantly reduced workforce since Musk fired thousands of employees after taking over $44 billion in October. It’s now leaning more toward automating the medium of content, eliminating some manual reviews and supporting restrictions on distribution rather than outright removing certain conversations, Ella Irwin, the new head of trust and safety, told Reuters this month.

Twitter on Thursday displayed an “Account Suspended” notice to crack down on journalists’ accounts. Musk also suspended the official account of Mastodon (@joinmastodon), a social media company that has emerged as an alternative to Twitter since its acquisition.

Mastodon could not immediately be reached for comment.

The accounts of Times reporter Ryan Mack (@rmac18), Post reporter Drew Harwell (@drewharwell), CNN reporter Donnie O’Sullivan (@donie) and Mashable reporter Matt Binder @MattBinder have been suspended. Aaron Rupar (@atrupar), a freelance journalist who covers American politics and policy, has also been banned.

A New York Times spokesperson said: “Tonight’s suspension of the Twitter accounts of several prominent journalists, including The New York Times’ Ryan Mack, is questionable and unfortunate. Neither the Times nor Ryan offered any explanation as to why this happened. We hope that all the journalists’ accounts will be restored and that Twitter will provide a satisfactory explanation for this action.

CNN says the “outrageous and unfair” bans are troubling but not surprising. The network said it has asked Twitter for an explanation and will review its relationship with the platform in response.

Other reporters could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reporting by Sheila Dang, Greg Bensinger, Katie Paul, Paresh Dev, Kostas Pitas, Maria Ponezhat, Ria Binoy; Writing by Sayantani Ghosh; Edited by William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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