There was utter commotion on Twitter after it was discovered that prominent media critics of its owner Elon Musk were simultaneously banned from the platform without explanation.
Among those whose accounts were permanently suspended include CNN correspondent Donie O’Sullivan, New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac, Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell, The Intercept journalist Micah Lee, Mashable writer Matt Binder, former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and former Vox journalist Aaron Rupar.
Additionally, the Twitter account belonging to the social media rival Mastodon, which served as a safe haven for liberals who initially fled Twitter following Musk’s takeover (many made their way back to Twitter).
Musk, who described himself as being a free-speech absolutist, received backlash for the purge of his critics, many calling for him to explain why those accounts were suspended.
“This is outrageous,” Fourth Watch media critic Steve Krakauer reacted.
“Hot take – Being the worst account on Twitter isn’t reason alone for suspension and Musk promised transparency around these things so would like to hear why,” Versus Media podcast host Stephen L. Miller tweeted.
“[I]f you start banning accounts willy nilly regardless of how much they suck without transparency, then you’ve become the very thing you swore against. we need answers @elonmusk,” Habbibi Bros podcast co-host Siraj Hashmi similarly expressed.
“In my opinion Aaron Rupar is one of the biggest lying no-character sources of mis/disinformation on the internet. But I haven’t seen a compelling case for his suspension from Twitter,” Fox News host Will Cain wrote.
“Musk is a blatant hypocrite when it comes to free speech,” New York Times corespondent Trip Gabriel wrote.
“Simple: If Twitter is suspending people because they are reporting on or critical of Musk, then current version is no better than the old version w arbitrary and questionable enforcement. If it’s suspending people for violating a clear rule, it’s on them. The why matters,” conservative writer A.G. Hamilton tweeted.
Twitter did not immediately respond to Fox News request for comment.
Musk was previously criticized for banning @ElonJet, the account that exclusively tracks Musk’s private jet usage. Musk claimed the account was suspended due to a “physical safety violation” since it was “doxxing real-time location info,” sharing video of a “crazy stalker” that was harassing his child in Los Angeles thinking the Twitter owner was present.
Since taking over Twitter, Musk has restored several accounts that were banned by previous leadership including former President Trump, the Babylon Bee, Dr. Jordan Peterson among others.