Musk reinstates accounts of banned reporters after Twitter poll

Madrid, Dec 17 (EFE).- Elon Musk on Saturday reinstated the accounts of several journalists he had banned from Twitter after the billionaire conducted a poll on the social media site.

Reporters from The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN and Voice of America were locked out of their Twitter accounts on Thursday over allegedly sharing location data about Musk.

Musk faced mounting criticism over the move, including a threat from the European Union issued on Friday that his company could face hefty sanctions for breaking the rules of its incoming digital services bill.

Signage at the Twitter offices in San Francisco, California, US. EFE/EPA/George Nikitin

On Friday, Musk turned to Twitter users to ask them whether the journalists’ accounts should be reinstated and 58.7% of the 3,6 million users surveyed voted in favor of lifting the ban.

“The people have spoken. Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now,” Musk tweeted.

Only one account from those that were suspended remains blocked, the @ElonJet account which used publicly available flight data to track the private jet of Musk, who acquired Twitter at the end of October for $44 billion.

Musk had tweeted on Nov. 6 that he would not ban the @ElonJet account, saying his “commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.”

But, in a turnaround on Wednesday, Twitter changed its rules and prohibited the sharing of live locations of other people.

Musk is taking legal action against the owner of the account after he said the information it shared endangered his son.

“Last night, car carrying lil X in LA was followed by crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood,” Musk tweeted.

Following the suspension of journalists, both the EU and United Nations slammed Musk’s move saying it risked the freedom of the press.

“We are very disturbed by the arbitrary suspension of accounts of journalists that we saw on Twitter. Media voices should not be silenced on a platform that professes to give space for freedom of speech,” UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said on Friday at a briefing.

Dujarric added that the move set a “dangerous precedent” and that the UN was in talks with Twitter officials.EFE

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