Why Elon Musk censors journalists on Twitter


the New York Times, CNNthe washington post, or even The Intercept. Twitter decided yesterday to suspend the accounts of several renowned journalists covering the news of the social network and Elon Musk. All have in common their positions deemed a little too critical of the new leader of the platform.

“If you dox on Twitter, you get suspended”

The reason given by Twitter and Elon Musk is simple. They are accused of having “circumvented the prohibitions”. Indeed the @ElonJet account which listed all the trips of the billionaire’s private jet has been suspended from the social network. He is accused of doxing, a practice of disclosing a person’s personal data online, risking putting them in danger.

The suspended accounts had also relayed information or links to the Mastodon @ElonJet account, thus circumventing its suspension. Present on an audio chat involving some of these journalists, the new boss of Twitter explained: “If you do doxing, you get suspended. End of story, that’s all”. And Elon Musk immediately left Space Twitter.

In fact, the entrepreneur seems particularly upset since an incident that occurred on Wednesday. He tweeted that a car in Los Angeles with his child in it was followed “by a crazy stalker ». He implicitly accused the @ElonJet account of having allowed this stalking.

While we can understand Elon Musk’s concerns for his privacy and those of his loved ones, we must also know that these private jet tracking accounts are regularly used by environmental activists who denounce the excessive consumption of Co2 by large companies. fortunes.

As one can imagine, this suspension of journalists caused a huge reaction. CNN thus commented: “The impulsive and unjustified suspension of a number of reporters like the one [du journaliste] CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan is disturbing but not surprising. Twitter’s growing instability and volatility is of particular concern to anyone using the platform. We’ve asked Twitter for an explanation, and we’ll reassess our relationship based on that response.”.

Is Twitter Censoring Mastodon?

For his part, Elon Musk seemed to backpedal. As usual, he offered a poll to his followers. Should the suspension of journalists who tweeted about @ElonJet be lifted? Now or later ? The vote now won. Not satisfied with the result, the leader then posted a new survey. As of this writing, the “now” vote is still largely in the lead.

Our colleagues from The Verge finally relate a disturbing phenomenon for freedom of expression on Twitter. They have indeed noted that it is impossible to tweet links to instances of the decentralized social network Mastodon, and in particular Mastodon.social, Mastodon.lol, Mastodon.xyz, Mastodon.au, Mastodon.ie, Mastodon.scot, Mastodonapp .uk, Mastodon.world. Finally, Mastodon’s Twitter account, which shared a link to @ElonJet’s Mastodon, has also been suspended.


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