Skip to content


New Twitter owner Elon Musk has offered some of the journalists he banned from the social media site earlier this week a chance to return to the platform if they delete tweets he falsely claimed shared his “accurate real-time” location. :

Musk’s move came after he posted an anti-scientific poll on his personal Twitter account that ended Friday night with 59% of participants voting for immediate account reinstatement.

Musk banned CNN’s Donnie O’Sullivan, The New York Times’ Ryan Mack and The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell on Thursday. Also banned were independent progressive journalist Aaron Rupar, former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and Insider columnist Lynette Lopez.

“The people have spoken,” Musk tweeted after his inquiry Friday night, vowing to reinstate accounts he had falsely accused of sharing his “accurate real-time” location.

While the accounts were made public on Saturday, journalists were restricted from posting until they removed tweets that Musk claimed violated Twitter’s rules.

In the past, Twitter has demanded that offending tweets be removed so that users can regain access to their accounts, but in this case the journalists strongly dispute that their posts violate Twitter’s rules.

O’Sullivan and Harwell both told CNN Saturday morning that they did not agree to delete the tweets and instead chose to appeal the decision.

“It’s journalism,” Harwell wrote in his caption, a copy of which was provided to CNN. Harwell added that his tweet did not contain “any link to anyone’s personal information.”

Rupar told CNN that he ultimately decided to just remove the tweet and move on from the episode, though he described the whole thing as “kind of [sic] is obviously absurd.’

It wasn’t clear what Mac had chosen.

The accounts of Olbermann and Lopez, in particular, remained banned and were not even publicly available as of late Saturday morning.

On Thursday, Musk falsely claimed that reporters had violated Twitter’s new “doxing” policy by sharing his “accurate real-time” location, which he described as the “coordinates of an assassination.”

The firing of the journalists was quickly condemned by news organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union, the United Nations, Democratic members of Congress and others.

The move marked a significant attempt by Musk, a free-speech absolutist, to exercise his unilateral power over a platform to censor the press.

A CNN spokeswoman said earlier Thursday that the network had sought an explanation from Twitter about O’Sullivan’s suspension and that it would “review our relationship based on that response.”

Shortly before his suspension, O’Sullivan tweeted that Twitter had suspended the account of new rival social media service Mastodon, allowing @ElonJet to continue posting the updated location of Musk’s private jet.

Other journalists suspended Thursday also recently wrote about the plane’s tracking account, which Twitter suspended permanently the day before as it rolled out a new policy barring the sharing of live location data.

The move to ban the plane-tracking account marked a sharp reversal of Musk’s vow to leave the account online as a “commitment to free speech.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *