Elon Musk said that he will restore suspended Twitter accounts of journalists

Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, announced late on Friday that he would reinstate the suspended accounts of several journalists on the social network after he accused them of endangering their families.

“People have spoken. Accounts that publish my location will see their suspensions lifted,” the billionaire, who was threatened with sanctions by the European Union on Friday, tweeted that the UN had condemned a “dangerous precedent” by suspending the accounts of dozens of journalists.

Elon Musk started a poll on Twitter asking whether suspended accounts should be reinstated immediately or within a week. About 59% of the 3.69 million Internet users surveyed said they needed to restore them immediately.

Some accounts have been reactivated, such as that of former Vox journalist Aaron Rupar.

“I was very hurt by the suspension at first, but I quickly realized that everything will be fine because I am blessed with a fantastic online community,” Mr. Rupar tweeted, thanking people for their support.

Dozens of American journalists were removed from the social network. Among them are media workers and independent journalists such as CNN (Donie O’Sullivan), New York Times (Ryan Mac), Washington Post (Drew Harwell).

Twitter did not specify why the accounts were suspended

The controversy erupted on Wednesday after Elon Musk announced that he was suspending the @elonjet account, which automatically reports on the trips of his private jet. Some accounts later tweeted about the decision.

Elon Musk justified the suspension of the accounts by claiming that it endangered the safety of him and his family.

In a tweet on Wednesday, she claimed that a car with one of her children aboard was being followed by a “crazy stalker” in Los Angeles, which she attributed to the real-time location of her jet.

“They placed my precise geographic location in real time, i.e. the coordinates that enabled the assassination, in direct (and obvious) violation of Twitter’s terms of use,” he also assured.

Twitter did not say why the accounts were suspended. The owner of the social network, which has caused a lot of controversy since October, has given some hints.

“Everybody will be treated the same,” he told reporters in a live Twitter audio chat Friday. Mr. Musk, who started working again on the topic, left the discussion and later disabled the Twitter Spaces audio chat service, citing a “technical issue.”

In a tweet late Thursday night, Mr. Musk announced a 7-day suspension for “doxing accounts.”

The term “doxing” means the disclosure of personal information about a person on the Internet without their consent.

The suspension of the accounts caused protests.

The United Nations strongly condemned the suspension of these accounts by Elon Musk, a self-proclaimed defender of freedom of expression.

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said: “The decision sets a dangerous precedent at a time when journalists everywhere face censorship, physical threats and worse.

Vera Jourova, the vice-president of the European Commission, threatened Elon Musk with “soon sanctions” in her tweet and reminded that “red lines” should not be crossed.

The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization called for the restoration of the accounts of the relevant journalists, considering that the “arbitrariness of the main platforms” is a “great threat to democracy”.

After the billionaire took over the platform for $44 billion, he sent mixed messages about what was allowed and what wasn’t.

An ardent defender of freedom of expression — as long as records respect the law — he reinstated accounts previously banned by the social network, including Donald Trump’s.

But he also suspended Kanye West’s message after several posts deemed anti-Semitic and refused to return to the platform of far-right assassin Alex Jones.

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