Criticism was justifiably high when it became known that various journalists’ profiles had been deleted from Twitter. Now the newly appointed head of the short message service, Elon Musk, has apparently put it to the vote whether the profiles should be released again or not. As a result, many of the media representatives affected were given access to their accounts again. However, this does not affect everyone.
Reaction to harsh criticism
The media response was gigantic when the widespread deletion of journalists on Twitter was announced last week. They were all united by critical coverage of Elon Musk and the short messaging service itself. Apparently, the critical voices of the press, but also politics, have not passed without a trace to Elon Musk as the new Twitter CEO elected in October tech billionaire. However, he was unable to reconcile his ego with his own personal activation of the profiles. That’s surprising, considering that he wanted to stand up for unrestricted freedom of expression on Twitter. So he put it to a vote on Twitter whether the accounts should be reactivated or not. The vote was in favor of the media representatives.
Twitter’s actions in this matter represent proof of why many political representatives and media experts warned against the Twitter purchase in advance. The United Nations (UN) even speaks of the deletion of profiles on the short messaging service as setting a “dangerous precedent.” After all, it shows that the top of the social network can apparently decide of its own free will which content to publish and which to block. In total, there were eight media representatives whose profiles were deleted. These were from the usual Musk-critical media houses CNN, Washington Post and the New York Times, according to a report from the latter.
A baseless blocking
The fact that Elon Musk actually wanted to ensure more freedom of speech on Twitter is one thing. The other, however, is the fact that the reporting journalists did not even violate existing Twitter guidelines. The linchpin was the reporting on the Twitter user @elonjet. This account, which has hundreds of thousands of followers, reported on every flight of Elon Musk’s private jet. Musk didn’t like that at all, which is why he had the Twitter guidelines adjusted without further ado. Since Wednesday last week, location data may no longer be shared by other people. Consequently, the deletion of @elonjet may still have been justified. However, the fact that journalists who were merely reporting on the incident were now also deleted seems groundless and far-fetched. Since the incident made headlines around the world, Twitter should have deleted many more journalists. Accordingly, the blocking of media representatives seems arbitrary.
Elon Musk does not like criticism
In the Twitter poll, just under 59 percent voted for the deletion of the journalists. However, this only affects the eight blocked media representatives who reported on @elonjet. Meanwhile, another journalist who also voiced criticism of Elon Musk remains blocked. As part of a report, Linette Lopez pointed out grievances at Tesla in Business Insider and, on top of that, criticized Elon Musk himself. One day, she then no longer had access to her account. She still doesn’t know why she was blocked. The journalist and the controversial tech billionaire probably have a longer history, in which Elon Musk is said to have harassed her personally.
Is Elon Musk driving Twitter up the wall?
When it became known that Elon Musk was interested in buying Twitter, the first critics were already loud. These are likely to feel confirmed in the current events. After all, Musk’s misconduct is not only manifesting itself in sheer waves of dismissals. On top of that, he is already starting to delete disagreeable opinions, barely a month and a half after moving into the executive suite. While criticism of Twitter, Elon Musk or any of the dazzling tech billionaire’s other companies quickly disappears from the platform, hate speech and conspiratorial content are currently flourishing. Here, one senses that the defensive shield Twitter had put up against such statements before Musk’s takeover is crumbling piece by piece. Since many people still use the short message service consciously or unconsciously to form opinions, this is extremely dangerous.