Blocked and reported

As Elon Musk’s Twitter faces increasing backlash, the billionaire has shown he’s not afraid to rule the platform with an iron fist. 

Driving the news: Several prominent journalists have been suspended from the platform after a show-down over the ban of @elonjet, an account tracking the real-time location of Musk’s private jet, which led them to tweet out links to @elonjet’s other social accounts. 

  • Musk alleged a stalker had used the account to track down a car carrying his child and said all accounts sharing real-time location info would be banned.

  • Critics were skeptical of Musk’s rationale, noting that flight logs are publicly available information. Other flight-tracking accounts like @celebjets were taken down, too. 

Why it matters: The bans could spell even more trouble for Twitter. The UN condemned the company’s actions, while an EU commissioner said it could face sanctions under the new Digital Services Act which requires "the respect of media freedom and fundament rights.”

  • In a fun twist, a technical glitch allowed the banned accounts to join Spaces, Twitter’s audio chatroom feature, to discuss the situation publicly.

  • Musk decided to pop by, where he was subjected to questions about suppressing press freedom, and left. Spaces has since been temporarily shut down

Plus: Twitter also began blocking any tweets that link to Mastodon, a direct Twitter competitor that has gained hundreds of thousands of users since Musk’s takeover.

Bottom line: Musk’s purchase of Twitter was supposed to be a victory for free speech. While the platform has rolled back on moderation and reinstated some suspended accounts, the rationale behind the platform’s content rules is becoming increasingly unclear.