Journalists Banned From Where

Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

On Thursday (December 15) night, several journalists scrutinizing Elon Musk and reporting on his management of Twitter found their accounts had been suspended.

The more than half a dozen technology reporters who appear to be affected by the suspension include: The New York Times’ Ryan Mac, Matt Binder from Mashable, Micah Lee from The Intercept, Donnie O’Sullivan from CNN, Drew Harwell from The Washington Post, and Aaron Rupar and Tony Webster two independent journalists. In addition, Keith Olbermann, a political commentator, account also appears to be suspended.

Thursday’s suspensions come after Mastadon — which had emerged as an alternative to Twitter — had its account suspended.

One thing each of the suspended accounts has in common is their reporting on the suspension of Jack Sweeney’s accounts.

Sweeney had several accounts that tracked celebrities’ private jet usage and flight paths. However, the account tracking Musk’s private jet (@ElonJet) and his personal account was suspended.

Sweeney’s accounts were suspended on Tuesday, then shortly brought back online on Wednesday, before ultimately being suspended again.

Musk had promised weeks earlier that he wouldn’t be suspending Sweeney’s account.

Responding to questions surrounding the mass suspension, Musk pointed to doxxing being a reason several accounts were suspended, saying the “doxxing rules” also applied to journalists.

Musk claimed reports “criticizing” him was “fine,” but that tweeting about his real-time location wasn’t, as it endangered him and his family.

A spokesperson for the New York Times, Charlie Stadtlander, revealed Twitter hadn’t informed Mac of the reason for the suspension but hoped the social media giant would provide a “satisfying explanation” on its decision.