December 17 – After massive international criticism, Twitter boss Elon Musk lifted the block on the user accounts of several US journalists on the short message service. The American billionaire and founder of Tesla justified it on Saturday with the result of a short-term Twitter survey, in which a majority of nearly 59% of respondents said they wanted recently blocked accounts to be activated immediately. . Twitter first blocked the @elonjet account on Wednesday, which automatically provides real-time public information about the movements of Musk’s private jet. Thursday, the accounts of several American journalists who would have reported in connection with the data were then blocked. This has raised press freedom concerns on Twitter. The UN, the federal government and the European Commission, among others, have criticized this approach.
“People have spoken,” Musk tweeted, referring to the short-term poll on his NetworkD. Accounts that revealed his whereabouts would be unlocked again. Twitter initially did not comment further. A check by the Reuters news agency revealed that the blocked user accounts of journalists such as The New York Times, Washington Post and broadcaster CNN have been reactivated. Musk had accused them of sharing the real-time location of his private jet in violation of a ban on sharing personal information, known as “doxxing”. Such behavior endangers the safety of his family.
Musk was referring to the blocking of the @elonjet account, a so-called bot account that automatically provides real-time, freely accessible information about the movements of Musk’s private jet. He threatened the operator with legal action because his son was being followed by a “crazy stalker”. “Putting me down all day is fine, but posting my location in real time and putting my family at risk is not,” Musk said. Musk’s critics, on the other hand, see the incident as further proof that the billionaire, who recently bought Twitter and describes himself as a “free speech absolutist”, is banning posts and users he doesn’t. don’t like the online platform.
CONCERNS ABOUT FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND OF EXPRESSION
The blocking of journalists’ accounts has sparked international criticism and concerns about freedom of expression and press freedom. A United Nations spokesman said the UN was very concerned about the unilateral exclusion of journalists. “This measure sets a dangerous precedent at a time when journalists around the world face censorship, physical threats and worse,” he said on Friday. Media contributions should not be silenced on a platform committed to freedom of expression.
European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová described the development as worrying. EU law requires respect for freedom of the press. Musk should be aware that there are red lines and penalties may apply. The federal government expressed its growing concern and announced that it would study the consequences. The Foreign Office said: “Freedom of the press should not be turned on and off at will. Critics also came from France and Britain.
The development apparently worries Tesla investors that Musk could become increasingly distracted from leading the electric car maker during a period of global economic weakness. Tesla shares fell 4.7% on Friday evening, posting their biggest weekly loss since the stock market crash at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
Musk unblocks journalists’ Twitter accounts
Photo Symbol: Image by Mizter_X94 on Pixabay
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