Elon Musk has defended his decision to suspend several mainstream journalists from outlets such as CNN, the New York Times, and TheWashington Post.
The billionaire kickstarted his Twitter crackdown following the permanent ban of @ElonJet, an account which tracked Musk's private jets using flight data available to the public.
The suspensions of the journalists were said to have come without warning from Twitter, and took place a day after the platform changed its policy on sharing "live location information."
Taking to the platform on Thursday, Musk wrote: "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,"
He added: "Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok."
When asked about the sudden ban on journalists, Aaron Rupar, Donie O’Sullivan, Matt Binder, Drew Harwell and Ryan Mac, the Tesla CEO, responded: "Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else."
In a statement, The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) wrote: "We are concerned about news reports that journalists who have covered recent developments involving Twitter and its owner, Elon Musk, have had their accounts on the platform suspended. If confirmed as retaliation for their work, this would be a serious violation of journalists' right to report the news without fear of reprisal."
The Washington Post said in a statement that the suspension of their technology reporter, Drew Harnell, "undermines Elon Musk’s claim that he intends to run Twitter as a platform dedicated to free speech".
CNN said in its statement: "Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern to everyone who uses the platform".
Meanwhile, CNN's O’Sullivan told Anderson Cooper: "Musk just seems to be stamping out accounts that he doesn’t like".
Many have criticised the move, with columnist Ian Dunt calling it "f***ing atrocious". He added: "An abysmal bottomless disgrace. Musk is a thin-skinned petulant child who sabotages the very values he claims to uphold."
Another tweeted: "Freedom of speech you said? Only when it suits Elon."
Musk later followed up by suggesting the bans were prompted by safety concerns for his family.
"Last night, car carrying lil X in LA was followed by crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood. Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family," he wrote.
He also uploaded footage of a man sitting in his car wearing a face mask with his hood up before showing a shot of the car registration number.
"Anyone recognize this person or car?" Musk wrote alongside the clip that racked up over 16 million views.
Indy100 reached out to Twitter for comment.
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