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.
Criticizing me all day is totally fine, but polling my location in real time and putting my family in danger is not
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 16, 2022
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.
The news of the arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is worrying. The EU Digital Services Act requires respect for media freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced under our #MediaFreedomAct. @tweet You should be aware of that. There are red lines. And penalties soon.
-Vera Jourova (VeraJourova) December 16, 2022
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.”
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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