Elon Musk has reinstated a number of Twitter accounts he recently suspended and accused of “doxxing”.
This week, the controversial businessman suspended the accounts of a number of high-profile news journalists in the US who wrote about Musk‘s time at Twitter.
“Criticising me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not,” he wrote by way of explanation.
After holding a poll on whether to un-ban the accounts immediately or in seven days, 58.7 per cent of users voted for an immediate return of the accounts.
Musk then tweeted on Friday night (December 16): “The people have spoken. Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now.”
The people have spoken.
Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now. https://t.co/MFdXbEQFCe
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2022
In response, journalist and photographer Tony Webster – whose account was suspended this week – tweeted: “To be clear, there was no ‘doxing’ — even if an impulsive, accountable-to-nobody oligarch said so.”
He was responding to his last tweet pre-suspension, which read: “If you aren’t willing to admit that Elon Musk lied to you about his ‘free speech’ goals, you are simply in denial at this point.”
This was my last tweet before my account was suspended. Needless to say, I was correct. This is not the free speech we were promised. To be clear, there was no ‘doxing’ – even if an impulsive, accountable-to-nobody oligarch said so. https://t.co/3w9V8EzRBq
— Tony Webster (@webster) December 17, 2022
Others to have their accounts reinstated included The New York Times’ Ryan Mac, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, Mashable’s Matt Binder and freelancer Aaron Rupar, all of whom had written about Musk and Twitter recently, and were suspended this week.
Elsewhere, Twitter has seemingly blocked all clickable links to fledgling social media site Mastodon, claiming they’re “potentially harmful” to users.
Earlier this year, rumours about Twitter’s imminent shutdown circulated after a series of disastrous decisions were taken by new owner and CEO Elon Musk.
At the same time, new social media site Mastodon presented itself as a viable alternative and saw over 200,000 new users join in a single week. However, it seems as if Twitter has now blocked all links to the site.
Musk’s high-profile purchase of Twitter took place in October – a move that has since continued to generate headlines and controversy.
The entrepreneur spent weeks wrestling with a paid verification system and banning people for impersonating him. In the wake of the executive firings, the site was rumoured to be on the brink of collapse, before Musk allegedly told the remaining staff that they must “work long hours at high intensity” or leave the company.