Elon Musk suspended a group of high profile journalists who cover him and Twitter on Dec. 15 for allegedly reporting his private jet’s location. The day prior, Musk banned @ElonJet, an account famous for tweeting Musk’s jet’s location, despite saying he wouldn’t do so last month.
Since Musk purchased the site in October, he has been criticized for making up rules as he goes. In November, he determined the price of Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service, after debating with author Stephen King. This month, he sparred with Apple CEO Tim Cook, saying Apple stopped advertising on Twitter and threatened to remove it from the App Store—which turned out to be a misunderstanding. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
Musk, a self-described free speech absolutist, suspended reporters from the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN and Mashable, along with a few independent journalists. Some of the reporters were able to participate in a Twitter Spaces conversation on the app’s live audio feature late Dec. 15, discussing the bans. More than 40,000 users listened in, according to Bloomberg.
Musk joined briefly to explain his policy: “There is not special treatment for journalists. You dox, you get suspended, end of story.” But some Twitter users have defended the reporters, saying flight information is public and reporting it did not endanger him or his family, as he claimed. After exiting the journalists’ Twitter Spaces chat, he disabled the feature and said it was to repair a bug.