Elon Musk faces Strongly opposed Lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic threatened fines and sanctions on Friday after Twitter suspended the accounts of at least eight journalists on Thursday without warning.
The suspended accounts include those belonging to Ryan Mack of The New York Times, Doni O’Sullivan of CNN and Drew Harwell of The Washington Post. It’s unclear what the common denominator of the suspensions is.
The silence from high-profile figures is likely to intensify the regulatory heat on Twitter, as well as Mr. Musk’s other companies, including Tesla and SpaceX, which are major recipients of government funding and projects. It could also hurt his efforts to bring reluctant advertisers back to the platform.
The move sparked a wave of protests. News organizations including The Times and CNN have asked Mr. Musk to explain his reasons. Supporters of the journalists argued on Twitter that the move was too punitive.
EU lawmakers are likely to go on the offensive. European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova said the move violated the EU’s digital services law and its freedom of the media law.
“There are red lines. Sanctions, soon,” she said tweets Friday morning.
The recently approved Digital Services Act acts as a sort of rulebook regulating content for companies operating in the EU. effective next year, and fined A levy of 6% of global revenues for companies breaking the rules.
Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.), a member of the House Electronic Communications and Internet Committee, also expressed disappointment with Twitter’s move. She tweeted Thursday that she had received assurances from the company this week that it had no intention of retaliating against journalists or independent researchers who criticized Mr. Musk and Twitter.
“Less than 12 hours later, multiple tech journalists were suspended. What’s going on, @elonmusk? ” she wrote.
The move comes a day after Twitter suspended more than two dozen other accounts, including one belonging to Jack Sweeney, the 20-year-old college student behind @elonjet, which tracked the movements of Mr Musk’s private jet. Every suspended journalist has written about or tweeted about the plane-tracking account.
The billionaire tech tycoon, who describes himself as a free speech absolutist, introduced a new red line this week after he claimed a car carrying his children was accosted by a “crazy stalker”. The rule: Any Twitter user who posts another person’s real-time location or other personal information (a practice known as doxxing) will be taken offline.
During the Twitter Spaces discussion, Mr. Musk defended the decision to block reporters. “You doxx, you’re suspended, end of story,” he said, then suddenly hang up the phone.
It’s unclear how long the suspension will last.friday mr musk poll His 121 million followers asked them to vote on when the account that shared his location should be reinstated. As of 8:30 a.m. ET, nearly 60 percent had chosen “now.” (Polls are open for another 14 hours.)