The thin-skinned new Twitter owner on Thursday banned the accounts of several high-profile journalists from the nation’s top news organizations, including: CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan; The New York Times’ Ryan Mac; and The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell. Progressive journalist Aaron Rupar and pundit Keith Olbermann were also banned, as were others.
Musk did not return my email seeking comment. But he appeared to claim that the sanctioned accounts had violated his new “doxxing” policy and shared what he said amounted to “assassination coordinates” on him, even though none of the journalists had, of course, done such a thing. ….
What the journalists all did have in common was their tenacity to report aggressively on the billionaire or criticize him in commentary — and to do so on Twitter. It’s without question that these bans will serve to chill free speech, not only for those who report on Twitter, but also for those who report on Musk’s other companies, such as Tesla and SpaceX.
You go to The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell’s Twitter page and you receive an account suspended notice with a link to the general Twitter rules.
Rules that really have no direct application to the tweets of the reporters whose accounts were suspended.
Twitter has been one of the greater equalizers for what we have called “citizen journalists.”
Citizen journalists, including bloggers, who could engage and share directly with mainstream media reporters and journalists.
By sharing insight on Twitter and engaging others who did the same, we, as bloggers, built reputations and relationships never before possible.
The arbitrary censorship of respected journalists (forget your political bent) feels like an attack on the whole credibility of this town square, called Twitter.
Twitter is still working, as far as sharing and engaging, as it always for me and other bloggers, be it with less interaction than in years past.
But the idea that I, as a blogger and journalist, use this medium while other journalists are being kicked off is a little bothersome.
My gut tells me if heavy censorship continues, traditional and citizen journalists, over time, are going to find a new town square.