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

On Thursday, Twitter suspended the accounts of several journalists covering the social network and its new owner, Elon Musk, before restoring them on Saturday morning. Some of the journalists tweeted on Wednesday about Twitter’s decision to stop Elon Musk’s account from automatically reporting his private jet trips.

Among them are media workers like CNN New York Timeswhere Washington post, others are independent journalists. CNN called the decision “impulsive and unwarranted,” “disturbing but not surprising” and, above all, “disturbing.”

In the following hours, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its concern about the “freedom of the press”. As for the European Union, it has raised the level once again. European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova found the suspensions “disturbing” and warned Elon Musk that “sanctions” would be “soon” … tweeting the obvious.

“Reports of arbitrary shutdowns of journalists on Twitter are disturbing,” he wrote in English, noting that the digital services law due to apply to the tech giants next summer “requires respect for media freedom and fundamental rights.” “Elon Musk should be aware of this. There are red lines. Sanctions soon.”

“Dangerous precedent” for the UN

Earlier in the evening, the United Nations strongly condemned this suspension: “We are deeply disturbed by the arbitrary suspension of journalist accounts seen on Twitter. The voices of the media should not be silenced on a platform that claims to be a place of freedom…The verdict sets a dangerous precedent at a time when journalists everywhere face censorship, physical threats and worse,” UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric roared. General Antonio Guterres.

@ElonJet account suspended

On Wednesday, Elon Musk tweeted that a car with his child in it was being followed by a “crazy stalker” in Los Angeles, citing his private jet as the reason. He announced in this tweet that he will be suing the person behind the now-suspended @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’s plane took off and landed. Twitter later announced that its policy now prohibits most tweets that show someone’s real-time location.

“Posting someone’s location in real-time breaks +doxing+ rules, but posting it offline is allowed,” Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday. The term “doxing” generally refers to the public disclosure of personal information about a person on the Internet without their consent. When it happened to Twitter, Elon Musk promised not to touch the @ElonJet account.

After mocking on Twitter (“ It’s heartening to see the press’s renewed love for freedom of expression.”), Elon Musk finally backtracked on Saturday morning and announced that he would reinstate the suspended accounts. Under the pretext of following the result of the vote posted on the social network. “People have spoken. Accounts posting my location will be unsuspended,” the billionaire tweeted.

Two weights, two sizes?

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. But he also suspended Kanye West’s message after several posts deemed anti-Semitic and refused to return to the platform of far-right assassin Alex Jones.

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