- Twitter suspended several journalists’ accounts on Thursday.
- Many of the affected writers had been covering or criticizing Elon Musk in the preceding days.
- It was not immediately clear what had prompted the wave of suspensions.
Twitter on Thursday suspended several accounts belonging to prominent journalists who have been covering Elon Musk and his tenure at the social media website with little explanation as to why.
Among the affected accounts were Donie O’Sullivan with CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, independent journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster, The New York Times’ Ryan Mac, and other writers on the tech and Twitter beat.
Rupar told Insider that he was still in the dark as to why his account was suddenly suspended. A notice at the top of his account as of Thursday informed him that he had been “permanently suspended” and restricted to read-only mode, leaving him unable to DM or tweet, he said.
“That’s the only information from Twitter, no email, no info about what rule I might have broken,” he said.
Twitter also suspended the account for Mastodon, a social media platform that has marketed itself as an alternative to Twitter.
Neither Musk, nor a representative for Twitter immediately responded to Insider’s request for comment.
The deluge of suspensions comes one day after Twitter suspended the account of 20-year-old student Jack Sweeney, who created a tool that automatically posted updates about Musk’s private jet’s location, and threatened legal action against him. The company soon after changed its rules to forbid posting a person’s “live location.”
But Rupar said he hadn’t tweeted or even retweeted anything about the ongoing private jet saga. Nor did he believe he had posted any material that would have violated copyright law — another cause for suspension. Rupar did, however, tweet critically about Musk the night before his account was suspended, he said.
“That leaves me inferring I guess it was something critical I posted of Elon,” he said of the reason behind his suspension. “Maybe that’s why I received no information from Twitter; they’re probably not going to come out and say that.”
Some of the suspended journalists had previously tweeted about @ElonJet and its ongoing presence on Mastodon.
NBC News reporter Ben Collins compiled an ongoing list of at least eight accounts that were suspended as of Thursday evening. Nearly all of them had been reporting on Twitter, covering Musk, or writing critically about the billionaire in the days leading up to their suspension.