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Elon Musk Banning Accounts for Doxing Brings Out Absolute Lunacy in the Left, Mainstream Media

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

As Matt covered Thursday night, several Twitter accounts of leftist and mainstream media journalists for suspended for 7 days. None of this should come as too much of a surprise, given that Musk had issued warnings and previewed suspensions due to doxxing with a poll--as he likes to do with major decisions he makes on the platform--and also more importantly because of his reaction to how he and his family were being targeted for stalking, as Katie covered earlier on Thursday. 

Those in question affected by the suspension include Ryan Mac from The New York Times, Drew Harwell from The Washington Post, Donie O’Sullivan from CNN, Micah Lee from The Intercept, Matt Binder from Mashable, independent journalists Aaron Rupar and Tony Webster, as well as political commentator Keith Olbermann. 

Harwell had just on Wednesday written a piece equating Musk with QAnon, as highlighted on Thursday.

The freakout was swift and collective. It was also tone-deaf given the suspensions and shadow bans that conservative accounts faced. While this was pretty much a given from when how Twitter used to be run, it was only further confirmed by more editions of the Twitter Files, which also drove liberals and the mainstream media wild. 

"Babylon Bee" was trending on Twitter on Friday with many users pointing out how accounts such as that one were punished. That was, in many ways, the beginning of Musk's interest in coming to own the social media platform so as to promote free speech. "New York Post" was also trending as users wondered where the outrage was when Twitter censored the news outlet for their coverage on Hunter Biden in October of 2020, as was also further detailed that much more in the first edition of the Twitter Files. Other trends calling out liberal hypocrisy included "#LiberalHypocrisy" and "Leftists."

Because Musk suspended their accounts or accounts that they associate with, though, it suddenly means that free speech doesn't exist anymore. 

"Dan Rather" has been trending as well throughout Friday, with multiple bad takes on the suspensions. Despite his account still remaining safe, he's nevertheless made himself into a victim in a way and is asking people to follow him on other platforms.

Our friends at Twitchy have done a valiant job covering much of these kinds of reactions, especially for the due mockery involved, including in Rather's case

Alexander Vindman, who as we've covered before has a particular preoccupation with going after Musk, likewise jumped in on the misunderstanding free speech bandwagon, with Twitchy picking up on this latest example as well.

Vindman also gleefully got behind the European Union speaking out against Musk and retweeted a warning about sanctions, doubling down himself on calling for an investigation.

Unfortunately, there were those who took it much further than free speech and missing why it was that the accounts were suspended. Out came the comparisons to Nazi Germany, with the account known as Duty to Warn claiming that what Musk did amounted to Kristallnacht, where Jews, as well as their homes, businesses, and property were targeted by violent riots. 

While it appears that screenshots are what's left of the tweets, the account still left up tweets claiming that Musk's action is worse than the "Big Lie."

"Kristallnacht" was trending as a result. If you're ever even merely thinking about making such a comparison, the rule of thumb ought to be to just not do it. 

It wasn't merely trending tweets, though. Press releases were sent out to make the outrage more formal. 

FreePress' Nora Benavidez shared a link to her group's statement, as well as the statement in thread form. 

Benavidez is also quoted in an Arstechnica piece where she calls for Musk to step down. "Musk needs to step aside as Twitter's CEO and be replaced by someone who doesn't rule by fiat, and who understands that social networks succeed when they put the health and safety of their users before the whims of one egotistical billionaire," she said, in addition to taking issue with claims that the reporters were involved in doxxing. 

If you were hoping that the organization cared equally about the treatment targeting The New York Post right before the 2020 presidential election, think again.

While FreePress portends in its Twitter bio to be "a nonpartisan organization," the only search result that came up on their website about the outlet is to complain about former and potentially future President Donald Trump under the bus, in addition to other Republicans to do with a piece on "The Trump Administration's War to Control Social Media" from October 27, 2020. It didn't age well:

On Wednesday, less than a week before the general election comes to a close, the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter will appear before the Senate Commerce Committee. They’ll testify about Section 230’s liability shield and their companies’ content-moderation practices.

This is the same Senate that rushed through a Supreme Court nomination and still refuses to pass any economic relief for people who are unemployed and suffering from the pandemic’s grave impacts — but Republican lawmakers found time for this hearing anyway.

...

Over the past few months, Donald Trump and his enablers have hijacked the banner of big tech reform. They’ve used the power of the presidency, federal agencies, congressional hearings and proposed legislation to bully tech companies into letting Trump’s propaganda, disinformation and blatantly false content run unimpeded across social media. That content is part of a dangerous attempt to downplay the dangers of the pandemic, sow confusion about voting and lie about the election in the coming weeks and months.

Republicans have long insisted that tech companies have an anti-conservative bias. This is the unsubstantiated and false claim that social-media companies actively target conservative news and content for takedowns, bans or unwarranted fact checking.

This has turned into a fantastical bogeyman. And their proposed solution to this threat is to modify Section 230 to expose internet companies to liability for taking down content with which these big companies (and much smaller platforms too) or their users disagree. 

...

In the past few weeks, as foreign disinformation campaigns have stepped up their efforts around the election, Facebook and Twitter have made some attempt to push back. They both tried stopping the spread of an unverified story regarding Hunter Biden that appeared in the New York Post.

Neither FreePress nor Benavidez tweeted outrage about the treatment that The New York Post received either. 

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) released a statement as well.

It does not appear that the Twitter account tweeted about censorship targeting The New York Post.

The reaction went beyond statements, too. There were predictably whole articles freaking out about what Musk had done.

One of the ways in which Twitchy brought attention to the reaction over the suspensions included highlighting how Axios lamented that Musk suspending accounts was "unprecedented." The outlet published such a piece by Sara Fischer on Friday morning. The night before, the outlet had also published a piece by Fischer and Shawna Chen with the headline claiming that the suspensions were "without notice."

There were other (dis)honorable mentions. On Friday morning, CNN published Oliver Darcy's "Elon Musk bans several prominent journalists from Twitter, calling into question his commitment to free speech." They had also on Wednesday published Donie O'Sullivan's piece complaining how "Twitter suspends account that tracked Musk’s private jet, despite billionaire’s ‘free speech’ pledge." Again, O'Sullivan was one of those reporters suspended. 

Other outlets tried to frame the issue in a more simplistic manner with similar headlines. "Twitter suspends journalists who wrote about owner Elon Musk," Matt O'Brien claimed for the Associated Press. "Twitter suspends accounts of several journalists who had reported on Elon Musk," a headline from the Guardian read, which involved multiple writers, including Kari Paul, Lois Beckett, and Josh Taylor. "Twitter suspends accounts of several journalists who have reported on Elon Musk," read Jordan Parker's headline for the San Fransisco Chronicle. 

The Hill not only also had a similar headline by Julia Shapero, "Several prominent journalists covering Elon Musk suspended from Twitter," but also published other noteworthy headlines about Musk and Twitter, including Rebecca Klar and Emily Brooks' "‘Twitter Files’ fuel House GOP probes, censorship claims," going with their familiar concept of how the story is on how Republicans react. The subject of their 12:30pm report by Mychael Schnell was about "Fallout from Musk’s Twitter suspensions."

There's also been steps taken against reporters beyond Twitter suspensions. NBC News' Ben Collins has been banned from covering Musk, with "Ben Collins" trending on the social media platform. Collins may be a familiar name as he's steadfastly defended drag shows for children, including and especially in the wake of last month's shooting at Club Q, an LGBT nigthclub in Colorado. He was also "one of the worst perpetrators," as Katie aptly put it in her VIP column not long after the shooting when it comes to his penchant for blaming conservatives.

Musk's reaction to all this in the meantime has been as solid gold as you'd expect from him, especially when it comes to his newfound pinned tweet. He too called out liberal hypocrisy as well. 

Even richer is that all of this is going on just as another edition of the Twitter Files was just dropped, which Spencer covered as it was happening. 


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