On Thursday night, Twitter suspended a number of high-profile journalists from its platform without warning or explanation.
The situation followed the company’s decision. Mastodon’s Twitter Account Suspendedan open-source social media alternative that has gained momentum since Elon Musk took over the company. Twitter took action against Mastodon after its account was linked to Mastodon’s page @ElonJet, a bot built by a student Track the whereabouts of Musk’s private jet.
At least some of the suspended accounts shared screenshots and observations about Mastodon’s suspension. Shortly before the suspension, Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell tweeted about Mastodon being kicked off the platform.
Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, The New York Times’ Ryan Mack, CNN’s Donnie O’Sullivan, Mashable’s Matt Binder and journalist Aaron Luper were also suspended Thursday night. Many of our reporters have regularly covered Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in recent months.
Ruper weighed his suspension sub stackhe did not know why his account was disabled, but observed that he shared a link to his ElonJet Facebook account in the process of reporting the matter. I shared the message and pointed out that there was no warning prior to the permanent suspension.
Some of the suspended accounts shared Mastodon and ElonJet Twitter handles, as well as images of tweets that appeared to have suspended their previous accounts.
Considering that Twitter’s human moderation team has been cut, an automated system could force it. Twitter’s new rules for accounts like @ElonJet In this case, I was too enthusiastic. But it’s at least as likely that Musk is directing the moderation process based on his preferences. You won’t know until someone on Twitter explains what’s going on.
update: Musk considered the suspension and characterized it as intentional. “‘Journalists’ are subject to the same doxing rules that apply to everyone else,” he tweeted in reply.
TechCrunch reached out to Twitter’s new head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, to explain why the account wasn’t given the chance to remove the offending tweets. This is standard practice for many Twitter violations. The policies that these accounts violated are Sharing “Live Location” is just 24 hours ago.
This story is in development…
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