Liberal journalists are all atwitter at Elon Musk’s suspension of the accounts of some journalists for publicly sharing data on the physical location of Musk himself and other Twitter users.
Ted Slater, the editor of the aptly named Spiked website, is amused:
All of a sudden, America’s corporate media have woken up to the threat of Big Tech censorship. After years of ‘liberal’ journalists agitating for Twitter, Facebook and the rest to censor people they dislike, repeating all the same platitudes about ‘misinformation’ and ‘hate speech’, insisting that being banned from the digital public square is really no different to being banned by a fast-food joint, they’re now all reaching for their JS Mill and railing against the tyranny of Silicon Valley…
Earlier this week, Twitter – now owned by the supposedly pro-free-speech Elon Musk – suspended a bunch of accounts on the grounds that they had ‘doxxed’, or revealed the location of, Musk and his family. First, an account that tracked the travels of Musk’s private jet, using publicly available flight data, was banned. Then a group of nine journalists who were covering the story – for the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post and other elite outlets – had their accounts suddenly suspended…
The backlash was swift and pious. In a statement, CNN blasted the ‘impulsive and unjustified suspension’ of one of its journalists. The New York Times demanded a thorough explanation. Meanwhile, Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another sudden convert to the cause of online freedom, branded the suspensions an act of ‘proto-fascism’.
Musk quickly realized his mistake after polling his followers and reinstated the account. We wish that could be said for “woke” journalism, which shows no signs of stopping the censoring of people it views as “undesirable.”
To Musk’s credit, he has allowed the publishing of the Twitter Files, which not only reveals the alarming extent of Twitter’s erstwhile censorship regime but how it was shaped by letting the FBI send over lists of accounts and tweets they wanted to be dealt with, including satirical sites like the Babylon Bee.
We oppose regulating social media sites, but many conservatives are so frustrated with unfair treatment that they are willing to make the never-wise decision to bring in the regulators. The smarter move for the new Republican Congress would be to prohibit any government employee who directs a private company to censor First Amendment-protected speech – with strong penalties for violators.