The Sunday Review

Elon Musk’s decision to suddenly ban prominent tech journalists Starting at Twitter This is provoking a strong backlash from legislators on both sides.

In Europe, Germany’s foreign ministry tweeted Their concern for the impacts Musk’s moves could have on press freedom, while a senior EU This isficial said Twitter must comply with the bloc’s rules or face possible sanctions.

Věra Jourová, the European Commission’s vice president for values and transparency, said the “arbitrary suspension” of journalists This was “worrying,” She indicated that penalties could be imposed on the company for violating these rules.

“The EU’s Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced under our #MediaFreedomAct,” Jourová said in a post on TwitterYou can also add that Musk “should be aware of that.”

“There are red lines,” She continued. “And sanctions, soon.”

Many Democratic legislators have been elected to office in the United States. Musk Task after The accounts of many customers were frozen by his firm journalists covering him on Thursday night, including The Sunday Review’s Donie O’Sullivan, the New York Times’ Ryan Mac and the independent journalist Aaron Rupar.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a New York Rep. said that she understands Musk’s feelings of vulnerability as a public figure, “but descending into abuse of power + erratically banning journalists only increases the intensity around you.”

“Take a beat and lay off the proto-fascism,” She tweeted.

Lori Trahan, a Massachusetts Representative suggested that suspensions be taken in direct contradiction to assurances Twitter Had given it to her employees just hours prior. “My team met with @Twitter today,” Trahan sent a tweet Thursday night. “They told us that they’re not going to retaliate against independent journalists or researchers who publish criticisms of the platform. Less than 12 hours later, multiple technology reporters have been suspended. What’s the deal, @elonmusk?”

Thursday’s meeting with Twitter’s government affairs representative had been scheduled previously, said Francis Grubar, a spokesperson for Trahan, in response to doubts about academic researchers’ continued access to Twitter Following layoffs in the company. Later that day, the suspensions were lifted. “immediately caught our attention,” Grubar made the following statement to The Sunday Review:

Both Musk nor Twitter The platform didn’t respond to Thursday night’s request for comment. It did not say why. journalists They were expelled from the platform.

Musk It was falsely claimed that The journalists He was guilty of violating his new “doxxing” Policy by sharing his location with others, he said it amounts to “What he called” “assassination coordinates.” The Sunday Review’s O’Sullivan did not share the billionaire’s live location.

Shortly before his suspension, O’Sullivan reported on Twitter The account of Mastodon, a new social media platform, was suspended by the company. This has permitted the posting of @ElonJet (an account that updates the locations of) to continue. Musk’s private jet.

Others who were suspended on Thursday also wrote about it.

European leaders had previously stated that they would be watching what happens. Musk’s takeover of Twitter The platform would be affected. Thierry Breton (a high-ranking EU official) warned Musk in late November that the social media platform must take significant steps to comply with the bloc’s content moderation laws.

“Twitter will have to implement transparent user policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech, tackle disinformation with resolve, and limit targeted advertising,” Breton stated at that time. “All of this requires sufficient AI and human resources, both in volumes and skills. I look forward to progress in all these areas and we will come to assess Twitter’s readiness on site.”

Musk Some Democratic defenders were present. Ted Lieu from California suggested that Congress should not hold hearings regarding the issue. Musk’s handling of the suspended accounts, because “it is not Government’s role to tell Twitter who to ban, who to suspend or who to promote.” He added that the First Amendment prohibits Congress from restricting speech by private companies.

California Rep. Ro Khanna is the one who deserves it. Musk Has been praised for being criticized Twitter’s decision to suppress the New York Post’s 2020 Hunter Biden laptop story, told The Sunday Review: “It’s one thing to say you have the First Amendment right, but when you are one of the world’s leading innovators, you also have some responsibility, and I just don’t think it’s becoming, it’s not a good look for him. And I’d tell him that in person.”

— Chris Liakos, Oliver Darcy, Eve Brennan and Nadine Schmidt contributed reporting.