Elon Musk has suspended the Twitter accounts of six Democratic Party operatives from CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc. They violated Twitter’s terms of service by linking to a site that tracks the location of Musk’s private jet.
The rationale is strong: the whereabouts of the jet is not public information, but someone apparently has software that is nevertheless able to track it, and these operatives apparently want others to know in real time where Musk is. Given the obvious threat of assassination that Elon now faces, this is legitimately dangerous doxxing. Musk explained:
“Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation,” Musk tweeted Wednesday. “This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info. Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok.”
This all seems fair enough, but it has outraged the European Union:
In response to the move to suspend the journalists who shared the information, EU commissioner Vera Jourova said that Twitter may face sanctions under the bloc’s newly implemented Digital Services Act (DSA) for, it is claimed, failing to protect media freedom.
Failing to protect media freedom! That can only provoke hollow laughter.
“[The] EU’s Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced under our Media Freedom Act,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Elon Musk should be aware of that. There are red lines. And sanctions, soon,” the EU commissioner said, adding that “news about arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is worrying.”
It is not hard to see whose side the EU is on, nor is it surprising. Musk can expect to face ongoing harassment from that source.
Elon is paying a heavy price for trying to restore free speech to Twitter. Tesla stock has cratered, costing him billions:
Twitter must be soaking up a vastly disproportionate share of Musk’s time, compared to his other businesses, with no profits in sight. He seems to be in it for the long haul, but watch for pressure from various quarters to ratchet up. Let’s hope he sticks it out.
UPDATE: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to Musk’s suspension of the six operatives by telling him to “lay off the proto-fascism.” Well, that’s a take. I don’t recall Ocasio-Cortez having any concerns about “proto-fascism” when Old Twitter banned, say, the Babylon Bee. Or me.