Twitter Reactivates Several Journalists Suspended Accounts Elon Musk announced early on Saturday that Twitter was reactivating the accounts of several journalists whose accounts had been suspended following his accusation that they had broken the site’s policies regarding user privacy.
After the majority of participants in his informal Twitter survey decided that the suspensions should be lifted right away, Mr. Musk announced that he was reactivating most of the accounts that had been deactivated on Thursday.
Several well-known journalists, including Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Ryan Mac of The New York Times, and Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, who had written about Mr. Musk’s ownership of the company, had their accounts suspended by Twitter on Thursday evening.
Some journalists had written about Mr. Musk’s earlier suspension of an account, @ElonJet, which used flight information readily available to track the whereabouts of his private aircraft.
Mr. Musk appeared to equate linking to the @ElonJet account in those articles with publishing intrusive real-time location information, or “doxxing,” during a contentious Twitter audio session with journalists on Thursday. Some of those whose accounts were shut down had also published articles criticizing Mr. Musk’s management of Twitter.
Just after midnight, Mr. Musk acknowledged those results in a post, writing, “The people have spoken.”
The majority of the accounts had been reinstated by early Saturday morning. But the @ElonJet account remained suspended, along with those of Keith Olbermann, a former host of MSNBC and ESPN, and Linette Lopez, a Business Insider columnist who had written about investigations into Tesla, another one of Mr. Musk’s companies.
The reinstatement of the journalists was “encouraging,” according to a spokesman for the European Commission named Johannes Bahrke, but the commission was worried about the capriciousness of Mr. Musk’s decisions.
Mr. Bahrke stated that these events “should happen in a framework, not just because someone decides they should.”
He emphasized that Twitter could face fines of up to 6% of its global annual turnover and even a ban across all of Europe if it did not abide by the Digital Services Act, a set of crucial European Union regulations for digital services that went into effect last month.
The same point was made in a tweet sent out on Friday by Vera Jourova, a vice president of the European Commission. Red lines are present. Sanctions are coming soon.
Volker Türk, the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, expressed his approval of the news of the journalists’ reinstatement on Saturday while stating that “serious concerns remain.”
“Twitter must uphold human rights. @elonmusk should commit to basing decisions on rights-respecting, publicly available policies,
Free speech supporters were alarmed by the suspensions.
According to Jodie Ginsberg, president of the Committee to Protect Journalists, if the suspensions were carried out as payback for the journalists’ reporting, “this would be a serious violation of journalists’ right to report the news without fear of reprisal.”
Mr. Musk, who has frequently expressed his support for free speech, countered that what he had done was no different from the measures taken by Twitter’s previous owners to censor posts about Covid and presidential politics that the website had deemed to be false.