Elon Musk, self-proclaimed herald of free speech, destroyed himself, on the evening of Thursday, December 15? The social network Twitter, acquired for 44 billion dollars (41 billion euros) by the head of Tesla and the founder of SpaceX, suddenly suspended at least eight accounts of journalists who wrote about him. These include Drew Harwell (washington post), by Ryan Mac (New York Times), Donie O’Sullivan (CNN) or even Aaron Rupar, an independent political journalist present on the online platform Substack and with 800,000 subscribers.
The day before, Elon Musk had started by suspending the Twitter account that followed the movements of his private jet, in the name of protecting privacy and endangering his family. “Any account that reveals someone’s real-time location information will be suspended as a breach of physical security. This includes posting links to websites with real-time location information. Posting places someone has been with a slight delay is not a security issue, so it is fine”, the billionaire had tweeted during the day. A little later, he also suspended the host of this account’s personal account, Jack Sweney, a 20-year-old student who had asked for $50,000 to stop tracking Elon Musk’s jet.
On November 6, Elon Musk had nonetheless prided himself on not committing any censorship: “My commitment to free speech even extends to not banning the account after my flight, even if it is a direct risk to personal safety”he tweeted.
To justify the suspension of the journalists’ accounts, Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday evening: “Criticizing me all day is okay, but revealing my location in real time and putting my family in danger is not.” » Before adding: “The same rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else. »
It seems that an incident with a vehicle with one of Elon Musk’s children, named X, is behind the acceleration of the case. “Last night the car with little X to Los Angeles was followed by a crazy stalker (thought it was me) who then stopped the car from moving and climbed on the hood. Legal action is underway against Sweeney and the organizations that supported the harm done to my family.”tweeted Elon Musk.
Suspensions “worrying but not surprising”
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