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Musk reinstates suspended journalists after Twitter poll

Several high-profile journalists who were suspended from Twitter on Thursday night were reinstated early Saturday.

“The people have spoken” Elon Musk tweeted.

Twitter users voted in a poll posted by Musk to reinstate the accounts, which were cut off without warning. The social media platform’s new owner has recently used Twitter polls for several high-profile decisions, including reinstating former President Donald Trump’s account.

The reporting by Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Donie O̵[ads1]7;Sullivan of CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Matt Binder of Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept, Steve Herman of Voice of America and independent reporters Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster was all suspended Thursday night.

“Matt Binder is back,” the Mashable journalist tweeted early Saturday.

Olbermann’s account appeared to remain suspended Saturday morning.

Musk said the suspensions would last seven days, but early Saturday said “the accounts that doxxed my position will have their suspensions lifted now.”

He has accused the journalists of sharing private information about his whereabouts, which he described as “basically assassination coordinates”. NBC News was unable to confirm that claim.

“You doxx, you get suspended. End of story. It is,” Musk said Thursday night in a Twitter Space audio discussion, explaining his latest policy to more than 30,000 listeners.

He was referring to Twitter’s latest rule change on accounts tracking private jets, including one owned by Musk, which was introduced on Wednesday.

Several of the suspended reporters had written about the new policy and Musk’s reasoning for introducing it, which involved his claims about a stalking incident he said affected his family Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

He tweeted Wednesday that a car one of his children was in was being followed and blocked from moving by a driver, who Musk said got on top of the hood of the car with his child in it.

Los Angeles police said Thursday that no police reports had been filed. Other law enforcement departments also cover parts of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Musk said: “Any account that provides real-time location information about anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical security breach. This includes posting links to websites with real-time location information.”

“Posting places someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis is not a security issue, so that’s OK,” Musk added.

However, the suspended accounts did not tweet the real-time location of the car Musk said his child was in. One of the banned accounts, “@elonjet,” previously tweeted flight data showing the location of Musk’s private jet. Some of the journalists banned had previously tweeted links to the account and other profiles run by creator Jack Sweeney, whose personal Twitter account was also suspended.

Flight data includes where a plane lands, but it doesn’t track a plane’s passengers outside the plane itself, so it couldn’t be used to track the real-time location of Musk or his children if they weren’t on board or near the plane.

The account of Mastodon, a platform that has emerged as one of Twitter’s biggest competitors, was also suspended on Thursday, and links to Mastodon and other autonomous, decentralized networks were blocked as “unsafe” links that could no longer be tweeted.

The suspensions Thursday were sharply criticized by free speech experts, and Musk cheerleaders and some conservative influencers joined in condemning the move.

Musk had vowed to run Twitter as a free-speech absolute, and since taking control has reinstated accounts linked to the QAnon movement and other far-right groups, but banned others.

He has also removed critics of his policies from the company.

Associated Press, David Ingram and Jason Abbruzzese contributed.

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