Elon Musk said late Friday that he will reinstate the Twitter accounts of several journalists suspended from the social network after the businessman accused them of endangering his family.
“People have spoken. The accounts that revealed my location will now see the suspension lifted,” the tycoon said after the uproar caused by his decision.
Musk had organized a Twitter poll asking users if he should reinstate the accounts now or in a week. Almost 59% of the 3.69 million participants voted to do so immediately.
The tycoon sparked outrage and warnings from the European Union and the United Nations after suspending the accounts of more than half a dozen journalists, some from media such as CNN, The New York Times or The Washington Post.
Some of the suspended accounts, like that of former Vox reporter Aaron Rupar, republished content.
“I was pretty devastated to be suspended but quickly realized everything was going to be okay because I’m lucky to have an amazing online community,” the reporter tweeted.
This latest in a series of controversies began when Musk suspended the @elonjet account that automatically reported private jet travel by the businessman, who also owns SpaceX and Tesla.
Musk justified the decision because the vehicle carrying one of his children through Los Angeles was followed by a “crazy stalker,” an incident he appeared to attribute to monitoring his private plane.
Some journalists reported on the case, also through tweets that linked to the @elonjet account. Musk accused them of publishing “the coordinates that would allow for a murder.”
In a live forum organized on Twitter on Friday, Musk did not provide evidence about his complaints and told some of the affected journalists — who were able to participate in the platform’s discussion spaces — that they were not going to receive special treatment. for being reporters.
“Everyone is going to be treated in the same way..You are not special because you are journalists,” said the businessman.
But when questioned to give more details about his accusations, Musk decided to end the discussion and left the forum.
– Controversies –
Musk’s decision drew stark warnings from the EU.
“The news about the suspension of journalists from Twitter is worrying (…) Elon Musk must take note of this. There are red lines. And, soon, there will be sanctions,” said the European Commissioner for Transparency, Vera Jourova, in a tweet.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the body’s secretary general, Antonio Guterres, called the decision a “dangerous precedent.”
Twitter has been surrounded by controversy since Musk took control of the platform after paying $44 billion for the social network, after selling shares of Tesla, his successful electric car company.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.