Social networks. Elon Musk suspends Twitter journalists, EU threatens sanctions

Twitter on Thursday suspended the accounts of several journalists who covered the social network and its new owner Elon Musk. Some of the reporters had tweeted about Twitter’s decision on Wednesday to suspend the account that automatically reported Elon Musk’s private jet rides.

Among them are employees of media like CNN, the New York Times, or the Washington Post, others being independent journalists. A decision deemed “impulsive and unjustified” for CNN, “worrying but not surprising” and above all “worrying”.

In the hours that followed, the German Foreign Ministry expressed its concern for “the freedom of the press”. As for the European Union, it has stepped up to the plate once again. The Vice-President of the European Commission, Vera Jourova, considered these suspensions “worrying” and warned Elon Musk that there would be “soon” “sanctions” … obviously tweeting.

“The news about the arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is disturbing,” she wrote in English, recalling that the law on digital services – which should apply to tech giants next summer – – “demands respect for media freedom and fundamental rights”. “Elon Musk should be aware of this. There are red lines. And sanctions, soon ”.

@ElonJet account suspended

On Wednesday, Elon Musk tweeted that a car in Los Angeles with his child in it had been tracked by “a crazy stalker”, and appeared to point to the tracking of his private jet as the reason. He announced in this tweet that he was going to sue the person behind the now suspended @ElonJet account.

Created by a student and followed by around 500,000 people, @ElonJet used public data to automatically indicate when and where the Spacex and Tesla boss’s aircraft took off and landed. Twitter later communicated that its policy now banned most tweets that showed someone’s location in real time.

“Posting someone’s location in real time violates +doxing+ regulations, but posting it offline is allowed,” Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday. The term “doxing” means publicly disclosing, most often on the Internet, personal information relating to an individual, without their consent. When he arrived at the head of Twitter, Elon Musk had promised not to touch the @ElonJet account.

Two weights, two measures ?

Since taking over the platform for $44 billion, the billionaire has sent mixed messages about what is and isn’t allowed on it.

Fervent defender of a great freedom of expression – as long as the remarks respect the law – he restored accounts previously banned by the social network, including that of Donald Trump. But he also suspended that of Kanye West after the publication of several messages deemed anti-Semitic and refused the return to the platform of the far-right conspirator, Alex Jones.

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Social networks. Elon Musk suspends Twitter journalists, EU threatens sanctions

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