Who Elon Musk banned this week and why

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Multiple journalists found their Twitter accounts suspended Thursday, including several who cover the social media platform.

Thursday night, Twitter CEO Elon Musk responded to the suspensions in a series of tweets, noting that the suspended accounts posted his exact, real-time location, or “basically assassination coordinates.”

Musk said their posts were a direct violation of Twitter’s terms of service and also said “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not.”

Musk seemed to dance around the length of the suspensions, making jokes about it lasting one day versus seven.

One day of Twitter suspension ≠ death,” he said to one social media user. “7 day suspension for doxxing. Some time away from Twitter is good for the soul,” he said to another.

Here’s a look at some of the journalists whose accounts were scrubbed from the Twitterverse, as well as how you can keep up with them on other platforms.

Dec. 16 Daily Briefing: Musk’s Twitter suspends journalists

Twitter news: Twitter suspends journalists from NYT, CNN, more; Musk claims his location data was shared

Drew Harwell

Where Harwell works: Technology reporter, The Washington Post

What Harwell wrote about Musk: Harwell this week reported on how Musk banned one of his biggest fans. Jack Sweeney, a sophomore at the University of Central Florida, created a Twitter account two years ago that used public air-travel data to map Musk’s private jet flights. He thought it’d be nice to show how Musk manages his companies, The Washington Post reported. Sweeney’s account was permanently suspended Wednesday.

Where else you can follow Harwell: Twitter: @drewharwell, Mastodon: mastodon.social/@drewharwellwww.washingtonpost.com/people/drew-harwellwww.drewharwell.com

Donie O’Sullivan

Where O’Sullivan works: Correspondent, CNN

What O’Sullivan wrote about Musk: O’Sullivan’s coverage has spanned both the flight-tracking Twitter account and shadow banning, or Twitter’s ability to limit how others interact with particular accounts on the social media platform.

“Twitter has previously acknowledged it deamplifies accounts it views as harmful or that regularly break its rules, but it does not tell those users their accounts are being limited,”  O’Sullivan said in one CNN video. “Musk wants to change that.”

In response to his Twitter account being banned, O’Sullivan said he and other reporters simply reported on the account that tracked his movements.

Where else you can follow O’Sullivan: Twitter: @donie, Instagram: @doniecnn, www.cnn.com/profiles/donie-osullivan

Matt Binder

Where Binder works: Reporter, Mashable

What Binder wrote about Musk: Binder reported on Musk banning the account, @ElonJet, which tracked the movement of Elon Musk’s private jet. Binder also called out Musk for previously stating he wouldn’t ban the account on his free speech platform. According to Binder, “I did not share any location data, as per Twitter’s new terms. Nor did I share any links to ElonJet or other location tracking accounts,” Binder said in an email to the Associated Press. “I have been highly critical of Musk but never broke any of Twitter’s listed policies.”

Where else you can follow Binder: Twitter: @mattbinder, Instagram: @mattbinderwww.mashable.com/author/matt-binder

Ryan Mac

Where Mac works: Technology reporter, The New York Times

What Mac wrote about Musk: Mac has covered the impact of Twitter’s internal decision-masking, particularly with its job cuts, legal team and advertising targets. Recently, Mac wrote that Twitter has stopped paying rent on offices and is considering not paying severance packages to former employees. His body of work also includes Musk suspending accounts that tracked Musk’s private flights.

Where else you can follow Mac: Twitter: @rmac18www.nytimes.com/by/ryan-mac

Aaron Rupar

Where Rupar works: Independent journalist

What Rupar wrote about Musk: In past posts, Rupar has said Musk “frames himself as a brave voice of the people fighting against entrenched elites.” He said some people call Musk an out-of-touch hypocrite and partially agreed that the remarks are warranted. Musk, he said, embodies a fascist ideology and has also targeted trans people as “dangerous oppressors,” Rupar previously wrote. After his Twitter account was suspended, Rupar said he previously posted a tweet noting that the account tracking Musk’s flights was still active on Facebook. He also linked to the account’s Facebook page.

Where else you can follow Rupar: Twitter: @atruparwww.substack.com/profile/696120-aaron-rupar

Micah Lee

Where Lee works: Director of Information Security, The Intercept

What Lee wrote about Musk: Lee has previously written about Twitter banning the account of a competitor, Mastodon. Calling it “a decentralized social network where millions of Twitter users have fled since Musk’s purchase,” Lee quoted the company’s mission statement. The company frames itself as a “vision of social media that cannot be bought and owned by any billionaire.”

Where else you can follow Lee: Twitter: @micahflee, Mastodon: infosec.exchange/@micahflee, www.theintercept.com/staff/micah-lee

Steve Herman

Where Herman works: Chief National Correspondent, Voice of America

What Herman wrote about Musk: Herman’s work focuses on the latest happenings on Capitol Hill. He said he was likely banned “because I was tweeting about other journalists being suspended for tweeting about accounts being booted that had linked to the Elon Jet feed.”

Where else you can follow Herman: Twitter: @W7VOA, Mastodon: journa.host/@w7voawww.voanews.com/author/steve-herman/yuqqt

Saleen Martin is a reporter on USA TODAY’s NOW team. She is from Norfolk, Virginia – the 757 – and loves all things horror, witches, Christmas, and food. Follow her on Twitter at @Saleen_Martin or email her at sdmartin@usatoday.com.

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