Twitter suspends journalists who have been covering Elon Musk and the company

Twitter suspended several high-profile journalists Thursday evening who have been covering the company and Elon Musk.

The suspensions come a day after Twitter changed its policies around accounts that track private jets, including one owned by Elon Musk.

The accounts of Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Donie O'Sullivan of CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Matt Binder of Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept and independent journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster had all been suspended as of Thursday evening.

The Twitter account for Mastodon, a platform billed as an alternative, was also suspended early Thursday evening.

It was not immediately clear why the accounts were suspended, though some had been tweeting about the suspension of the Twitter account that tracked Musk's jet, @ElonJet, and its availability on Mastodon.

As of Thursday evening, Twitter accounts operated by NBC News journalists were unable to tweet a link to the Mastodon account of @ElonJet.

A spokesperson for The New York Times who called the suspensions questionable and unfortunate said that no explanation was provided to Mac or the news organization about the ban.

“We hope that all of the journalists’ accounts are reinstated and that Twitter provides a satisfying explanation for this action,” said Charlie Stadtlander, communications director for the Times.

Lee said in a text message that before the suspension he had attempted to tweet out a link to the Mastodon account that tracked Musk’s jet but was unable to and instead tweeted a screenshot.

Rupar wrote on Substack that his account was permanently suspended but that he had no other information.

"I haven’t heard anything from Twitter at all," he wrote.

He noted that he had tweeted a link Wednesday to a Facebook page that tracked Musk’s jet.

Musk tweeted Wednesday evening: "Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info."

The suspensions come as Musk has backtracked on his promise that he would run Twitter as a free speech absolutist, reinstating accounts associated with the QAnon movement and other far-right groups while banning others.

Internally, he has removed critics of his policies from the company.

The suspensions add to what has been a tumultuous couple of days for Twitter after the company first suspended the account that tracked Musk’s jet.

Musk appeared to threaten legal action against its creator, Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old Florida college student, after Musk claimed a “stalker” confronted a car carrying his child in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Musk provided no proof that Sweeney or his account was involved. He did not provide a time or location in the sprawling metropolitan area where the claimed incident occurred.

Sweeney told NBC News on Wednesday that he hasn’t received any notification of legal action, and the last time his bot tweeted anything was Dec. 12, “which is not last night, so I don’t get how that’s connected.”

The Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday that no police reports had been filed.

“LAPD’s Threat Management Unit is aware of the situation and tweet by Elon Musk and is in contact with his representatives and security team. No crime reports have been filed yet,” Officer Lizeth Loeni, a police public information officer, said in a statement Thursday evening.

There are other law enforcement departments that also cover parts of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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