In October, when Elon Musk took over Twitter, he did not seek guidance. He began promptly restoring accounts and eliminating those who had participated in censorship as well as those who were hostile to the new ownership. Between the months of October and December, he was busy realigning the social media behemoth.
Musk has received acclaim for some of his endeavors and criticism for others. A recent performance with Dave Chappell was met with both applause and jeers from the audience.
Musk has received criticism in recent days and weeks for his handling of the app, notably his suspension of New York Times, Washington Post, and BuzzFeed writers last week. He blacklisted a total of nine journalists on Thursday after they reported on his decision to shut down an account tracking his private aircraft use, accusing them of ‘doxxing’ him and exposing his address and the precise position of his plane, including Musk and his family.
On Thursday evening, BuzzFeed News tech reporter Katie Notopoulos hosted a Twitter Spaces discussion, which Musk joined. “Everyone’s going to be treated the same,” said Musk, defending his decision to suspend the reporters’ accounts. “They’re not special just because you’re a journalist.”
Shortly before the discussion, he tweeted: “They posted my exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service.”
Musk reinstated the nine accounts on Friday night.
After she was accused of providing the full location of TikTok talent scout Ariadna Jacob in a 2020 story, he removed Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz from the app on Saturday evening. Saturday night, Lorenz acknowledged in a TikTok video that she had been removed off the platform, but less than 12 hours later, Musk said that he would be removing her suspension. “Temp suspension due to prior doxxing action by this account,” Musk wrote in response to a Tweet about Lorenz’s ban. “Will be lifted shortly.”
Musk has also begun publishing the so-called “Twitter files” in recent weeks, detailing how the service engaged with the US Government before he took over. The initial collection of materials pertaining to the Hunter Biden issue and efforts to remove images of him off the internet. In the second release yesterday night, which was also published by writer Matt Taibi, it was revealed that the FBI wanted information from the social media giant’s executives about how they enforced online safety.
Musk published on Sunday new Twitter rules prohibiting the promotion of rival social media networks in tweets or profile biographies, which may be banned or erased. There was an immediate uproar against the rules. Musk was challenged by Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey and whistleblower Edward Snowden, among others, which led to the decision to change the punitive policy. A few hours later, the tweets and website describing them were removed.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
The Chief Twit then put out a tweet from his own account saying the rules would be changed, suggesting: “Policy will be adjusted to suspending accounts only when that account’s *primary* purpose is promotion of competitors, which essentially falls under the no spam rule.” Sites on the list of ‘prohibited social media platforms’ included: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr. CONTINUE READING…