Even the UN steps in after Elon Musk suspends journalists: 'Dangerous precedent'

Even the UN steps in after Elon Musk suspends journalists: ‘Dangerous precedent’

We are deeply concerned by the arbitrary suspension of journalists’ Twitter accounts. The voices of the media must not be silenced on a platform that proclaims it a zone of freedom (…) The decision sets a dangerous precedent at a time when journalists around the world face censorship, physical threats, and worse,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Twitter’s decision to suspend the accounts of several journalists without warning and without much explanation did not go unnoticed in Brussels this afternoon. The European Commission has warned the social media platform that arbitrary decisions are not permitted under the new Digital Services Act (DSA) and could lead to penalties.

Journalists from the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, among others, saw their accounts suspended Thursday night. In recent days they reported on Twitter’s decision to suspend the @ElonJet account, which allowed direct tracking of the location of CEO Elon Musk’s private jet using publicly available data. According to Musk, the journalists are guilty hex (distributing private information) and endangering his safety and the safety of his family.

Musk’s decision raised a lot of eyebrows, especially since journalists had broken the rules that were only introduced after the ElonJet ban. The big surprise was also in the European Commission, which oversees Europe’s largest social media channel, undeniably Twitter.

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There are red lines. and penalties

“The news that Twitter has arbitrarily suspended journalists is disturbing,” Vera Jourova, vice chair of the committee responsible for values ​​and transparency, said on Twitter. European law on digital services (which went into effect exactly a month ago, ed.). It requires respect for media freedom and basic rights. (…]Elon Musk needs to realize this. There are red lines. And sanctions are coming soon.”

A spokesperson for the Commission explained that the new European legislation requires platforms such as Twitter to have clear terms of use. Entrants who have been suspended or banned must be given a valid reason for this and must also be able to appeal this decision. All of this must be done within the framework of European law, which prohibits arbitrary and discriminatory decisions. If there is any interference, it must be proportionate and fundamental freedoms must always be respected.

Companies that fail to comply with the Digital Services Act regulations can be fined up to 6 percent of their global sales.

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