Help! The "free speech absolutist" has permanently suspended my Twitter account
This is Jay McKenzie, writing to you from Substack because Twitter has permanently suspended my account for "doxing" or criticizing Elon or ... who knows, really!
Update as of 7:20 am: My Twitter account has been permanently suspended.
Update as of 8:45 am:
I've now been permanently suspended from Twitter for "Violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam."
Previously my account was locked for "Violating our rules against posting private information."
So which is it? Who knows.
My free speech is under attack! Or something. After several journalists who have recently written articles critical of Elon Musk were banned on Twitter, I find myself locked out of my own Twitter account @JamesFourM as well. Here’s what I see when I try to login.
What great crime have I committed? They claim the infraction is this:
Violating our rules against posting private information.
You may not publish or post other people's private information without their express authorization and permission.
According to the message I received and the justification Musk has given on Twitter, the reason my account is locked and the reason several journalists were suspended appears to be the same. According to Musk, we’re guilty of “doxxing” him by posting his “exact real-time location”.
The links I posted and at least some journalists posted were links to public information about the location of Elon Musk’s personal jet. Until recently, this information was also available on Twitter through the @ElonJet account, which he promised to keep on the platform only a few weeks ago.
However, the @ElonJet account and its owner, a college student named Jack Sweeney using the handle @JxckSweeney were recently suspended from Twitter under this same enforcement policy which was changed in one day with absolutely no prior warning.
I noted the arbitrary nature of all this on Twitter myself recently, in a reply to Musk that went viral. Did this contribute to my account being locked? Who knows.
Here’s the tweet I posted today with links to @ElonJet accounts operated by Jack Sweeney on other social media platforms. This tweet is the current justification for locking my account, and this tweet has since been removed from Twitter.
Musk claims posting public links to his personal jet is “doxing” or posting private information about him in real time. It’s not. He doesn’t seem to understand that posting publicly available information is not doxing. It has never been doxing. Doxing involves taking private information and posting it publicly.
The information about Elon’s personal jet can be found by anyone at this link without even making an account. Go check it out for yourself here:
The outlet TechCrunch tried to get to the bottom of what’s happening here with these suspensions. Are they temporary? Are they permanent? What’s the real reason for all this? They write:
In one reply, Musk stated that the suspensions would only last seven days. He later tweeted a poll inviting his Twitter followers to decide the fate of the banned journalists, who were previously notified that the account suspension was “permanent.”
TechCrunch has reached out to Twitter’s new head of trust and safety Ella Irwin for an explanation of why the accounts were not given the opportunity to delete the offending tweets, which is standard practice for many Twitter infractions. It’s worth noting that the policy these accounts violated, a prohibition against sharing “live location information,” is only 24 hours old.
The stated reason for changing Twitter’s terms of service to say that users are no longer allowed to share “live location information” of others occurred due to an alleged attack against Elon’s son, X, in Los Angeles. To date, Musk has provided no evidence this attack happened, and according to the LAPD, no crime reports related to this incident have been filed.
Based on the randomness and arbitrary nature of all this, I don’t know whether to expect myself to be permanently suspended or reinstated when I wake up in the morning. I guess we’ll see what kind of mood Elon is in. That seems to guiding Twitter’s policies more than anything right now.
See you on the other side. For now, that’s Post. Follow me over there!
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Good luck everyone!
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