France – World | Musk caused a scandal after suspending journalists on Twitter
Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk sparked an outcry on Friday after suspending the accounts of several American journalists and being threatened with sanctions by the European Union, while the UN condemned the “dangerous precedent”.
The United Nations strongly condemned the suspension of these Twitter accounts by Elon Musk, a self-proclaimed defender of freedom of expression.
Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said: “The decision sets a dangerous precedent at a time when journalists everywhere face censorship, physical threats and worse.
Vera Jourova, the vice-president of the European Commission, threatened Elon Musk with “soon sanctions” in her tweet, reminding her that there are “red lines” that should not be crossed.
Dozens of American journalists were removed from the social network. Among them are media workers and independent journalists such as CNN (Donie O’Sullivan), New York Times (Ryan Mac), Washington Post (Drew Harwell).
Some tweeted about Twitter’s decision Wednesday to stop Elon Musk’s account from automatically reporting his private jet trips.
The latter accused them of creating a threat to his and his family’s safety.
In a tweet on Wednesday, she claimed that a car with one of her children in it was being followed by a “crazy stalker” in Los Angeles, which she linked to the real-time location of her jet.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called for the restoration of the accounts of the journalists concerned, considering that the “arbitrariness of the main platforms” is a “great threat to democracy”.
– “Temporary Suspension” –
Twitter did not say why the accounts were suspended. The owner of the social network, which has caused a lot of controversy since October, has given some hints.
“Everybody will be treated the same,” he told reporters in a live Twitter audio chat Friday. Mr. Musk left the discussion, having resumed work on the subject. Later, it disabled the Twitter Spaces audio chat service, citing a “technical issue”.
In a tweet late Thursday night, Mr. Musk announced a 7-day suspension for “doxing accounts.”
The term “Doxing” means the disclosure of personal information about a person on the Internet without their consent.
“They posted my exact real-time location, literally the coordinates of the assassination, in direct (and obvious) violation of Twitter’s terms of service,” Musk said.
Mastodon’s Twitter account, which is a competitor of the social network, has also been suspended.
“The impulsive and unjustified termination of a number of reporters, such as CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, is troubling but not surprising,” CNN said in a statement.
“We have sought an explanation from Twitter and will reevaluate our relationship based on that response,” CNN added.
“We hope that the accounts of all these journalists will be reinstated and that Twitter will provide a satisfactory explanation,” New York Times spokesman Charlie Stadtlander said.
Following the car accident involving his son, Mr. Musk announced in a tweet that he would be suing the person behind the now-defunct @ElonJet account.
Created by a student and followed by nearly 500,000 people, @ElonJet used public data to automatically show when and where the SpaceX and Tesla boss’ device took off and landed.
Twitter later announced that its policy now prohibits most tweets that show someone’s real-time location.
When it happened to Twitter, Elon Musk promised not to touch the @ElonJet account.
After the billionaire took over the platform for $44 billion, he sent mixed messages about what was allowed and what wasn’t.
An ardent defender of freedom of expression — as long as records respect the law — he reinstated accounts previously banned by the social network, including Donald Trump’s.