We reported that so-called “reporters,” a group of established media journalists, were removed from Twitter on Thursday for allegedly trying to circumvent Twitter’s policy regarding sharing personal information (Musk in this instance) including their location.
Musk and his family were attacked Tuesday by an inept fanatic who apparently obtained tracking information online for the Musk vehicle. Musk has since been aggressive against any attempts to track him or anyone else.
A Twitter Spaces chat was set up Thursday night where thousands of journalists could participate and vent their frustrations about Musk’s ban on Aaron Rupar, a former Vox.com writer. Rupar is one of the worst offenders when it comes to sharing misinformation via Twitter. He also shared a video clip that was almost enough to get a Georgia sheriff’s deputy fired.
Musk popped in at one point and explained that journalists would be banned or suspended like all other Twitter accounts when it comes to doxxing or sharing personal information. This could be whether the information was directly shared in tweets or links to “reports”.
Musk stated to them, “You’re not unique because you’re a journalist”, in unambiguous terms.
— Pillow Purge Poso🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) December 16, 2022
The aftermath was hilarious, with the following tweet claiming that Musk had been “called out” for “lying by one of the suspended journos. He wasn’t:
Holy Shit. Elon Musk just popped into a Twitter Spaces chat with a bunch of journalists. He was called out by journalist Drew Harrell, who he banned, for lying about posting links to his private information, then leaves almost immediately after being pressed. Here is the exchange pic.twitter.com/wVA9Gb5MVJ
— Bradley Eversley (@ForeverEversley) December 16, 2022
Harrell’s response was typical of all the reactions that suspended journalists and their supporters had. They accused him of being dishonest, hypocritical, and having no respect for free speech on social media platforms.
“Elon says he is a free speech champion and he is banning journalists for exercising free speech. I think that calls into question his commitment,” WaPo’s @drewharwell, who was banned tonight, told CNN. https://t.co/R1a24KcpWp
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) December 16, 2022
There are some on Twitter who think Musk is wrong for allegedly treating liberals like conservatives over the years. I don’t agree with them.
I don’t mind if the Twitter policy is changed to ensure that someone reporting on Twitter is not suspended. However, if the same reporters shared personal information about locations that could put Musk or any other Twitter user in danger they should be subject to the same rules as everyone else.
As Musk indicated, journalists shouldn’t be given special privileges on social media because they are journalists. Further, to see these people so outraged on “free speech” grounds about the account suspensions is rather rich considering most of the news outlets whining about the suspensions – including CNN – saw absolutely nothing wrong with the FBI and DHS communicating with Twitter on the suppression of any accounts that were passing along alleged “hacked” materials on Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden (materials which weren’t, in fact, “hacked”).
These same outlets have largely ignored the concerns of private citizens, including respected physicians, for the past three years. Those who raise questions about government COVID policies or respond to them have had their accounts suspended or banned from Twitter. They were accused of spreading misinformation that was contrary to Dr. Fauci and the CDC’s official guidelines.
And those media outlets didn’t look away, they actively pushed for more aggressive action by the likes on Facebook and Twitter against users who weren’t following the official government line.
Therefore, I don’t sympathize with suspended journos. They are reaping the fruits of what they have sown and they now know how it feels. This issue is not going to affect my sleep, as I have seen Big Tech work in concert with media, “fact-checkers” and the government over many years.