UPDATED with CNN response: Twitter on Thursday abruptly suspended the accounts of several journalists including from the Washington Post, CNN and the New York Times as well as media pundit Keith Olbermann. All have covered Elon Musk in the past.
The news began percolating this evening as the Twitter accounts of the journalists got the “Account Suspended” treatment on their feeds.
Among those whose access to the social media site has been blocked are the Washington Post‘s Drew Harwell, the New York Times‘ Ryan Mac, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, The Intercept’s Micha Lee, Mashable’s Matt Binder and independent journalists Tony Webster and Aaron Rupar. Olbermann’s account was also suspended, with his last tweet captured by other Twitter users showing him working to support Rupar and other reporters.
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The Twitter account of rival social media platform Mastodon was also suspended tonight.
According to the Washington Post, where Harwell is a technology reporter, the accounts began going offline around 7:30 p.m. ET. The Post said most of the journalists impacted had recently covered Musk’s dispute with a Twitter user who tracked Musk’s private jet travel.
@ElonJet, run by Florida college student Jack Sweeney, used publicly available flight tracking to inform followers of the location of Musk’s Gulfstream jet. Sweeney said @ElonJet was suspended by Twitter on Wednesday and his own account followed today.
The above info was reported among others by the now-suspended O’Sullivan, a CNN correspondent covering the intersection of politics and technology.
“The impulsive and unjustified suspension of a number of reporters, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, is concerning but not surprising,” a CNN spokesperson said tonight. “Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses Twitter. We have asked Twitter for an explanation, and we will reevaluate our relationship based on that response.”
Rupar confirmed the suspension tonight on his Substack page, which included a screenshot from Twitter saying his account had been permanently suspended. “I have no idea what rules I purportedly broke,” he wrote. “I haven’t heard anything from Twitter at all.”
The trending topic “Thursday Night Massacre” emerged as the suspensions came to light. Musk has not commented on the move on his own Twitter account.
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.
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