Elon Musk took to Twitter Friday night to announce he would be restoring the accounts of several high-profile journalists who were suspended from the platform on Thursday.
On December 15, former MSNBC and ESPN host Keith Olbermann spoke to CNN correspondent Donie O’Sullivan, New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell, Mashable’s Matt Binder, freelance journalist Aaron Rupar and Tony Webster were among those suspended from Twitter.
A few hours after the news broke Thursday, Musk started a poll on his account, asking his nearly 122 million followers whether now or in seven days he should “unblock accounts that doxx my exact location in real-time.” More than 58 percent of the 3.7 million people who voted on the poll said now, prompting Musk to reinstate them.
While it wasn’t clear why the accounts were suspended in the first place, some journalists were critical of Musk, tweeting links to a Mastodon social account that tracked Musk’s private jet. ‘The people have spoken’ he tweeted Friday. “Accounts that have doxxed my location will now be suspended.” Rupar’s, Mac’s, Harwell’s, O’Sullivan’s, Binder’s and Webster’s accounts were restored by Friday night, but Olbermann’s remained suspended.
“I want to thank everyone for all the support and kind words over the past day and some change,” Rupar tweeted. “I was really bummed about being suspended at first, but soon realized I would be fine as I am blessed with a great online community.”
Webster was more critical of his return to the platform, responding to his last tweet before being suspended, which read“If you’re not willing to admit that Elon Musk lied to you about his ‘free speech’ goals, you’re just in denial at this point.”
“This was my last tweet before my account was suspended,” he said tweet read on Friday. “Needless to say I was right. This is not the freedom of speech we were promised. To be clear, there was no ‘doxing’ – even if an impulsive, unaccountable oligarch said so.”