12/17/2022 | FOX News
Elon Musk lifts Twitter suspension of journalists following poll results calling for their return
Reporters from CNN, NYT, WaPo were suspended for allegedly violating Twitter's 'doxxing' policy
Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced that he had lifted the suspensions of the journalists who allegedly violated the platform's "doxxing" policy following the results of a poll he conducted among Twitter users.
"The people have spoken. Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now," Musk tweeted late Friday night.
Musk conducted a 24-hour poll asking whether the accounts should be restored "now" or "in 7 days." Twitter users overwhelming voted "now" in a 59-41 point split. Nearly 3.7 million Twitter users answered the poll.
That followed a separate poll Musk conducted on Thursday where "now" also led over "tomorrow," "in 7 days" and "longer," but Musk concluded that poll had "too many options."
What was dubbed as the "Thursday Night Massacre," prominent legacy media journalists including CNN correspondent Donie O'Sullivan, New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac and Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell were told without warning that they were "permanently suspended."
Others who were affected included The Intercept journalist Micah Lee, Voice of America correspondent Steve Herman, Mashable writer Matt Binder, former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and former Vox journalist Aaron Rupar.
The controversy started with the suspension of @ElonJet, an account that exclusively tracked Musk's private jet usage. Musk claimed the account was suspended due to a "physical safety violation" since it was "doxxing real-time location info," sharing video of a "crazy stalker" that was harassing his child in Los Angeles thinking the Twitter owner was present. Musk threatened to take legal action against the account's user.
On Wednesday, Musk warned Twitter users, "Any account doxxing 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."
The users who were kicked off of Twitter on Thursday had either reported on @ElonJet's suspension or had posted links to the private jet tracking on their own Twitter accounts.
Critics blasted Musk's actions, many slamming the premise of his "doxxing" claims since his private jet usage is public information while others accused him of hypocrisy since the billionaire has called himself a "free speech absolutist" during his acquisition of Twitter.
CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post all issued statements denouncing the "impulsive and unjustified" decision and called for their reporters to be reinstated onto Twitter.
Some defended Musk, saying the journalists had violated the rules. Others relished in the suspensions, saying that those who were punished champion censorship and were silent when Twitter took action against others pre-Musk like the New York Post during the 2020 presidential election for its reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop story.