Journalists banned on Twitter: A growing number of banned names, are you surprised?

The Twitter accounts of many prominent journalists have been suspended without any clear explanation from the social networking services company. This follows the banning of Mastodon, an open source alternative social media. Prior to the suspension, the account linked to Mastodon’s page (@ElonJet) had posted a link to the aircraft tracking account on its own service.

The account belongs to Florida student Jack Sweeny and tracks Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s private jet. Sweeny’s personal account has also been suspended from Twitter, including many bots.

Shortly after the post was published, many links to the open source social media were no longer active, with Twitter calling them “potentially dangerous.”

Mastodon has gained a lot of traction since Musk took control of Twitter, and many Twitter users have added the profile link to their bios. The social media service provider has disabled all links to blocked Mastodon servers and marked them with “Warning: this link may be dangerous.”

Twitter suspends popular journalists

Some of the journalists suspended from Twitter had shared comments or screenshots about the social media’s action against Mastodon. Among the victims are Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Matt Binder of Mashable, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, journalist Aaron Rupar and Donie O’Sullivan of CNN. Many of the influenced journalists who joined the growing list of suspended Twitter personalities had covered stories about Musk’s takeover of the Bluebird app. Aaron Rupar took to Substack to post a public notice about his permanently suspended Twitter account. He posted a screenshot of the message he received from Twitter about his suspension:

“After careful review, we have determined that your account has violated Twitter’s rules. Your account is permanently in read-only mode, which means you cannot Tweet, Retweet or Like content. You will not be able to create new accounts. If you think we were wrong, you can appeal.”

The freelance journalist confirmed that he had posted a tweet about ElonJet the day before. He said he wrote about Twitter’s suspension of ElonJet’s account and provided a link to his Facebook page, where he is still active. Rupar said his posts about ElonJet could be the reason for the suspension, but he still doesn’t know “what policy he might have violated.”

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Other reporters, including Ryan Mac of the New York Times, have spoken out about the Twitter suspension, noting that there was no warning from the company. Mac said through an alternative account that there has been no communication from the company about it. He also added that he reports on Twitter, Elon Musk and his companies and will continue to do so.

Musk, who had previously stated that the suspension of Twitter journalists was permanent, posted a poll on Twitter inviting users to decide the accounts’ fate. Options in the poll include the possibility of lifting the suspension of the accounts “now“, “tomorrow“, “in 7 days” and “longer“.

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