Twitter Accounts Belonging to Journalists Who Cover Elon Musk Deactivated as CEO Cites 'Doxxing'

"Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not," Elon Musk wrote of several journalists' Twitter accounts being deactivated

Elon Musk arrives for the 2022 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022, in New York. - The Gala raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. The Gala's 2022 theme is "In America: An Anthology of Fashion". (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Elon Musk. Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty

Twitter has deactivated the accounts of many journalists who reported about Elon Musk following the suspension of the ElonJet account, a page that was tracking Musk's personal plane.

On Thursday, it was revealed that The New York Times' Ryan Mac, The Washington Post's Drew Harwell and Matt Binder of Mashable were among reporters whose accounts have been pulled, along with CNN's Donie O'Sullivan, The Intercept's Micah Lee, political commentator Keith Olbermann, journalist Aaron Rupar, and freelancer Tony Webster, per multiple outlets.

A rep for Twitter did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Binder told Rolling Stone of his account being deactivated: "I was banned on Thursday night immediately after sharing a screenshot from CNN's Donie O'Sullivan moments after he was suspended."

He explained to the outlet, "The screenshot was an official LAPD statement regarding the incident Elon Musk was tweeting out about last night which led him to suspending ElonJet and its creator Jack Sweeney. I did not share any location data, as per Twitter's new terms. Nor did I share any links to ElonJet or other location tracking accounts. I have been highly critical of Musk but never broke any of Twitter's listed policies."

Sharing his decision to deactivate the accounts, Musk claimed the reporters compromised his safety and put his family in danger.

He replied to one Twitter user who said that the deactivated accounts allegedly shared a link to the ElonJet account. Musk deactivated the ElonJet account before banning the reporters' profiles.

"Same doxxing rules apply to 'journalists' as to everyone else," Musk replied, adding in a follow-up tweet, "They posted my exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service."

He also responded to another user who accused him of having a "meltdown," writing, "Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not."

Mac appeared to create a new profile, @MacSilenced, and shared a screenshot of the notification he received that his previous account was "permanently suspended." The new account has since been suspended.

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He added that he "was given no warning" or any details as to why he was suspended.

"I report on Twitter, Elon Musk and his companies. And I will continue to do so," he added.

Rupar also opened up about finding out his account was indefinitely deleted, stating on his Substack, "I initially thought I was being trolled. But I picked up my phone to check it out and lo and behold, it's true."

Similar to Mac, Rupar said he's not sure why his account was impacted; however, he later added that he believes his tweet about ElonJet being suspended may have sparked it.

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Ahead of suspending the reporters' accounts on Thursday, Twitter deactivated Mastodon's profile, a growing competitor of Twitter, per CNN. Mastodon had also tweeted about ElonJet, telling social media users that the account follows Musk's plane. At one point, ElonJet — which was run by 20-year-old Jack Sweeney — was tracking Musk's aircraft on Mastodon's platform after ElonJet was suspended from Twitter.

The suspensions come after Musk tweeted last month, "My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk."

He also wrote in April, "I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means."

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