Elon Musk starts banning critical journalists from Twitter 

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The reporters appear to have tweeted about his jet recently.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 text-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray”>Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

Twitter has suspended the accounts of several prominent reporters on Twitter, such as The New York Times’ Ryan Mac, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, The Intercept’s Micha Lee, Mashable’s Matt Binder, Aaron Rupar, Tony Webster, and potentially more. A list of the suspensions is being compiled by NBC’s Ben Collins.

Currently, it’s unclear why the bans are taking place. The reporters being banned largely cover technology, and most appear to have recently written stories on Elon Musk.

“I have not received any communications from Twitter whatsoever, other than a notice at the top of my feed that I am permanently banned and in read-only mode,” said Rupar in an email to The Verge. “I have no idea what could have prompted this.”

The New York Times’ Kate Conger has speculated that the suspensions could be related to the @ElonJet situation, where an account that posted when and where Elon Musk’s private jet took off and landed was suspended, along with its creator. Mastodon, a competing social network, also recently had its account suspended after tweeting a link to the ElonJet account on its platform.

On Wednesday, Twitter updated its private information and media policy to ban sharing someone’s live physical location, as well as links to places sharing that sort of information. Shortly after the updates went into effect, Musk said that a car carrying one of his children had been followed by somebody he claimed to be a stalker.

The suspensions don’t appear to be entirely limited to journalists. Commentator Keith Olbermann has been suspended, as has the Twitter account for ADS-B Exchange, which describes itself as “the world’s largest source of open unblocked unfiltered flight data for enthusiasts.” The account recently quote retweeted someone trying to track Musks’ jet, according to a WayBack Machine archive.

Musk has previously promised to make Twitter a hub for “free speech,” and held up the @ElonJet account as the type of thing he would permit on the platform, even though it could cause him harm. “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk” he tweeted on November 6th.

Twitter has not immediately responded to The Verge’s request for comment on the suspensions, though it currently does not have a press department.

Developing…

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