Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter was advertised as the return of a free speech bonanza for the platform, and the abolishing of the social media site’s liberal slant.
And while some of this has been ostensibly true, Musk hasn’t exactly been the free speech aficionado he claimed to be. His latest lurch into tyranny may be his most worrisome yet.
On Thursday evening, Twitter suspended a number of prominent journalists on the platform without warning or explanation.
The situation followed the company’s decision to suspend the Twitter account of Mastodon, an open source social media alternative that’s built momentum since Elon Musk took over at the company. Twitter took action against Mastodon after the account linked to the Mastodon page of @ElonJet, a student-made bot that tracks the whereabouts of Musk’s private jet.
At least some of the accounts suspended had shared screenshots and observations about Mastodon’s suspension. Just prior to his suspension, Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell tweeted about Mastodon being kicked off the platform.
The list was a who’s who of outspokenness.
Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, The New York Times’ Ryan Mac, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, Mashable’s Matt Binder, and journalist Aaron Rupar were also suspended Thursday evening. Many of the reporters regularly covered Musk’s takeover of Twitter in recent months.
Musk’s controversies are mounting and having a collateral effect on his entire ecosystem, with Tesla stock falling sharply in value over the course of the last several weeks.