Elon Musk’s war on journalists unfolded over the weekend with Washington Post Journalist Taylor Lorenz has been temporarily kicked off Twitter after asking the erratic billionaire to comment on a story.
“When I went to log in and see if he had responded to our query, I was suspended. I received no communication from the company about the reasons for my suspension or the terms. that I raped,” Lorenz wrote on his Substack.
Musk said Sunday morning that Lorenz had been suspended for “prior action of doxxing by this account” and would be lifted “shortly.”
But when Lorenz appealed her suspension, she received a response from Twitter stating that her account had been “permanently suspended” and that she shouldn’t bother responding because “this decision will not be reversed.”
Hours later, Lorenz’s Twitter account was restored.
The suspension came just days after Musk deleted and then reinstated the accounts of several other prominent journalists who had referenced the @elonjet account, run by a student who tracks the movements of his private jet.
It also follows a recent complaint to Musk by influencer Ariadna Jacob, who was the subject of a critical article by Lorenz and who later sued the journalist for defamation.
Jacob claimed Lorenz doxxed her in the article, which appeared in The New York Times when she worked there. In Lorenz’s story, she linked to a public Zillow listing from an influencer collaboration house.
“Such disgraceful behavior will not be tolerated in the future,” Musk wrote in response Friday, a day before Lorenz was suspended from Twitter.
The move was condemned by Washington Post editor Sally Buzbee, who noted that this was the second suspension of a Post reporter after journalist Drew Harwell was suspended on Thursday.
“The arbitrary suspension of another Post reporter further undermines Elon Musk’s claim that he intends to make Twitter a platform dedicated to free speech,” Buzbee said in a statement. . “Once again, the suspension occurred without warning, process or explanation – this time because our reporter simply requested comment from Musk for a story. Post-reporters must be reinstated immediately, without arbitrary conditions.
Lorenz’s suspension without a clear explanation of his alleged offense has been a theme of previous journalist bans.
For example, Twitter banned some journalists who simply linked to @elonjet’s new account on social media rival Mastodon, which was also briefly banned on Twitter.
“Twitter has been a vital source of real-time news and played a crucial role in the world of journalism,” Lorenz wrote, “but Musk’s arbitrary suspensions of journalists who report on him should worry anyone who values the journalism and freedom of expression”.
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