The journalists that were banned included reporters for CNN, The Washington Post, and the New York Times. Since the news of the reporters being banned from the social media platform has been revealed, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) have condemned the decision, with the EU threatening sanctions. The UN posted to their followers that media freedom is “not a toy”.
The UN’s under secretary general for global communications, Melissa Fleming, has commented on the situation:
“Media freedom is not a toy. A free press is the cornerstone of democratic societies and a key tool in the fight against harmful disinformation.”
Vera Jourova, EU commissioner, threatened Twitter with sanctions under the Digital Services Act which she claims needs “the respect of media freedom and fundament rights.” Jourova continued:
“Elon Musk should be aware of that. There are red lines. And sanctions, soon,”
Elon Musk hasn’t formally commented but has posted to his Twitter account that “criticising me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing [releasing personal information] my real-time location and endangering my family is not”. He added:
“Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else,”
He also wrote:
“What should the consequence of doxxing someone’s real-time, exact location be? Assume your child is at that location, as mine was.”
One Twitter user hit back at Musk saying that the tracker uses public data anyway so people could find out if they really wanted to. However, Musk responded saying “my plane is actually not trackable without using non-public data”.
The suspensions have happened after a profile that tracks the Tesla CEO’s private jet shared the information to the platform. Musk threatened to sue the “crazy stalker” for sharing the jets live location which was carrying his children in Los Angeles.