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Twitter suspends prominent journalists’ accounts over alleged privacy violations

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In the latest move under new CEO Elon Musk, Twitter has banned the accounts of several high-profile journalists.

Those suspended are Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Matt Binder of Mashable, and Micah Lee of The Intercept.

The social media giant has also suspended independent and political journalists Aaron Rupar, Tony Webster, and Keith Olbermann, who also found their accounts blocked following the Tesla billionaire's $44 billion takeover.

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Twitter did not disclose further details, and it is unknown what the bans had in common.

Each user's Twitter page had a note saying that it banned accounts that "violate the Twitter rules."

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Twitter made a similar move a day before, blocking 25 accounts that monitored planes of federal agencies, billionaires, and prominent figures, including Mr. Musk.

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The majority of accounts were handled by Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old college student, and flight-tracking buff.

He utilized publicly accessible information to post updates on the whereabouts of Mr. Musk's private jet on Twitter.

Mr. Musk, who calls himself a "free speech absolutist," said last month that he would let the account that tracked his private plane remain on Twitter though it posed a security risk.

He tweeted: “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk."

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But he backtracked last week, claiming that a "crazy stalker" approached a car in which one of his sons was traveling.

Mr. Musk tweeted that any account that posted “real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation.

“This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info.”

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Some of the journalists blocked from Twitter had reported about the accounts that monitored private planed or had tweeted about them.

Some have also published articles criticizing Mr. Musk and his control of the social media platform.

Mr. Musk said that Twitter's policies against "doxxing," or publishing of someone's personal documents, including info like their address, "apply to 'journalists' as well as everyone else."

Neither Mr. Musk nor Twitter has responded to requests for comments. 

Source: The New York Times

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