The billionaire says the ban was imposed because journalists published identifying information about a person. Twitter owner Elon Musk suspended the accounts of several journalists on the microblogging platform late Thursday.
Affected accounts include CNN’s Donny O’Sullivan, New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mack, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell and journalist Aaron Ruper. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), often referred to as AOC, took to social media to voice her opinion on the matter.
He tweeted, you are a public figure. Very controversial and powerful person. I feel vulnerable, but descending into abuse of power and wrongfully banning journalists only heightens the intensity around you. Hit and run proto-fascism. Maybe try putting your phone down.
You’re a public figure. An extremely controversial and powerful one.
I get feeling unsafe, but descending into abuse of power + erratically banning journalists only increases the intensity around you.
Take a beat and lay off the proto-fascism. Maybe try putting down your phone. https://t.co/BniyYUqWMY
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 16, 2022
This move by Twitter led many to dispute Musk’s claim that he bought Twitter because he was an advocate of freedom of expression. He calls himself a free-speech autocrat.
Elon Musk cited doxing, or the sharing of personal identifying information, as the reason for the suspension. On Wednesday Elon Musk suspended the account of @elonjet, which was posting public information about the location of his private jet.
There is no indication as of this writing that the suspended reporters had specifically posted information about Musk or the whereabouts of his jet. In a post on Substack, Rooper said he posted a tweet that linked to the Facebook page of the account that tracked Jett. He probably did, Ruper wrote, but I still don’t know what policy could possibly have been violated.