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Elon Musk condemned by UN and EU for suspending ‘journalists’ over doxxing, European Commission threatens Twitter with sanctions

Meanwhile, Elon Musk has agreed to cancel the suspension of these journalists after a public poll in which people voted for revoking the suspension

A day after Twitter cracked down on several ‘journalists’ for allegedly sharing the real-time location of Elon Musk, the European Commission and the United Nations have come to the rescue of the said journalists.

On Friday (December 16), the Vice President for Values and Transparency in the European Commission, Věra Jourová, threatened the new Twitter owner with sanctions for not respecting ‘media freedom and fundamental rights.’

In a tweet, she stated, “News about arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is worrying. EU’s Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced under our Media Freedom Act.”

“Elon Musk should be aware of that. There are red lines. And sanctions, soon,” she warned. Similarly, a United Nations spokesperson by the name of Stéphane Dujarric had expressed concerns over the ouster of some ‘journalists’ from Twitter.

“The move sets a dangerous precedent at a time when journalists all over the world are facing censorship, physical threats, and even worse,” he was quoted as saying.

Moreover, the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for global communications, Melissa Fleming, also claimed, “Media freedom is not a toy. A free press is the cornerstone of democratic societies and a key tool in the fight against harmful disinformation.”

The Background of the Controversy

On Wednesday (December 14, US local time), Elon Musk informed that his 2-year-old son named ‘X’ who was travelling in Musk’s car was hounded by a ‘crazy stalker’. The stalker was seen wearing a black hoodie and recording the incident on camera.

“Last night, a car carrying little X in LA was followed by a crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked the car from moving & climbed onto the hood,” Musk narrated the ordeal.

Later, Elon Musk announced that the Twitter handles which post the real-time location of individuals and compromise their physical safety would be suspended.

In a tweet, the new Twitter owner said, “Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info.”

According to New York Post journalist, Jon Levine, several reporters have faced the wrath of the new Twitter owner under the new doxxing rules.

This included CNN reporter, Donie O’Sullivan, Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell, The New York Times reporter Ryan Mac and independent journalist Aaron Rupar.

While responding to a Twitter user, Musk clarified that journalists would not be treated as exceptions for endangering the lives of individuals by posting links to their live location. “Same doxxing rules apply to “journalists” as to everyone else,” he reiterated.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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