Twitter restores accounts of journalists who covered Elon Musk

A day after Twitter suspended several journalists covering Elon Musk, the company appears to have reversed course and restored the accounts.

The move comes after Musk stood down a Twitter poll asking if accounts should be restored “Now” or “In 7 days”.

“The people have spoken,” the controversial tech company’s billionaire owner wrote a tweet friday night “Accounts that doxx my location will now be unsuspended.”

This week’s back-and-forth began on Wednesday when Twitter banned an account that tracked the publicly available whereabouts of Musk’s private jet.

That account, called @ElonJet, remained suspended as of Friday night.

Among the journalists suspended Thursday were Ryan Mac of the New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Matt Binder of Mashable, Drew Harwell of the Washington Post, political pundit Keith Olbermann and Steve Herman of the government-funded Voice of America. Musk had suggested late Thursday that the suspensions would last seven days.

Harwell’s last post before being suspended was about Twitter taking down the account of one of its competitors, Mastodon, for posting a link to its own version of the @ElonJet account that tracked Musk’s plane . according to a tweet by NBC News reporter Ben Collins. (Mastodon’s Twitter account was also suspended on Thursday.)

of Olbermann last tweet asked people to recreate Harwell’s post word for word and a link to an article by freelance journalist Aaron Rupar, whose account was also suspended, criticizing Musk for his “populist cosplay” while he was one of the most rich people of the world

While most of the accounts suspended the night before appeared to have been restored by Friday night, Olbermann’s account did not appear in a search.

On Wednesday, Twitter announced a policy update which prohibited the sharing of “live location information, including information shared directly to Twitter or links to third-party URLs of travel routes.”

It appeared suspended accounts may still be able to participate in Twitter Spaces, as several of the banned journalists discussed the news in a live audio chat room Thursday night.

Musk joined in briefly to confirm that posting a link to a page that provided real-time location tracking, such as @ElonJet, was “prohibited evasion” and no different from directly posting locations live

“Show the link to real-time information, prohibit evasion,” Musk said. “Dox, you’re suspended, end of story, that’s it.”

Musk’s apparent connection of the journalist suspensions to doxxing drew swift criticism, as people pointed out that the journalists did not share any location data or provide real-time tracking.

Times writer Jaimie Ding contributed to this report.

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