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Twitter’s Busy Week – the Latest Twitter Headlines

Suspended journalist accounts, banning of free promotion social media platforms, and a CEO exit poll -will he or won’t he?

The Twitter headlines change so quickly, it is nearly impossible to follow the ups and downs of the social media platform’s journey from the time Twitter CEO Elon Musk darkened their doorstep. In the latest news reports, Musk has suspended journalist accounts, unsuspended them, banned the free promotion of other social media platforms, posted a poll where he said he would step down if users voted for him to do so (they did), and more. 

Should (or will) Musk resign as Twitter CEO?

On Sunday, Musk posted a poll on Twitter asking users if they thought he should step down as CEO, and he agreed to abide by the results of the poll. Of the more than 17.5 million votes, 57.5% of users said Musk should leave the CEO role, while 42.5% voted for him to stay.

Many questioned whether this was a ploy to garner attention, or perhaps Musk was looking for a way out, having realized that this CEO job was much bigger than he realized. On Tuesday, the billionaire said he would resign as soon as he found “someone foolish” enough to replace him. Once a successor was named, Musk would remain to manage the company’s software and server teams. Though this would be a different role, Musk would likely wield significant power and influence over policies and other decisions at the company.

Suspending and reinstating journalist Twitter accounts

Last Thursday, Twitter suspended the accounts of at least nine journalists for allegedly violating Twitter’s rules of conduct, reports The New York Times. Twitter didn’t not specify which of its rules or terms were violated. Among those suspended were:

  • Matt Binder, Mashable
  • Drew Harwell, The Washington Post
  • Steve Herman, Voice of America
  • Micah Lee, The Intercept
  • Ryan Mac, The New York Times
  • Donie O’Sullivan, CNN
  • Keith Olbermann, political journalist
  • Aaron Rupar, independent journalist
  • Tony Webster, independent journalist

The suspensions were supposed to last seven days, but some of the accounts were lifted on Saturday, including Matt Binder and Keith Olbermann. NBC News reports that other journalists’ accounts have also been suspended including Linette Lopez of Business Insider, Rebecca Mansour of Breitbart News, and Taylor Lorenz of The Washington Post have also been suspended. In the way of explanation, Musk tweeted that the suspension was due to doxxing.

Twitter bans – then unbans – promotion of other social media platforms

On Sunday, Twitter announced a new policy that prohibited users from promoting other social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter rivals Mastodon, Tribel, Nostr, Post and Truth Social, says USA Today. Twitter did not include Parler, TikTok or LinkedIn in the list of platforms that couldn’t be promoted. However, Twitter said it would allow users to cross-post content from other platforms, including those listed, and he would allow those platforms to buy ads and do other paid or sponsored promotions.

“Casually sharing occasional links is fine,” Musk said. “But no more relentless advertising of competitors for free, which is absurd in the extreme.”

Due to the backlash, Twitter rescinded this new policy within 24 hours of its posting. Musk apologized for the poor decision making.

Insider Take

This is reminiscent of former President Donald Trump in the news headlines. Every day some news story comes out about Twitter and Musk that we were both fascinated and repulsed by. It is like the train wreck we can’t stop watching. Musk’s impulsive moves are unpredictable, and his moods are volatile, making so many question his decision-making ability. Musk may be a genius, but he has certainly made a mess of Twitter.

More importantly, he is really putting “free speech” to the test. While Musk claims to be a huge proponent of free speech, his actions say otherwise. Suspending journalists and not allowing promotion of other platforms indicates that Musk will restrict access to Twitter if he doesn’t like what’s being said. He appears to be more controlling than any past or present social media platform CEO. Of course, we could hope that he follows through on his threat to step down as CEO, but Musk changes his mind so often, it seems unlikely he will keep his promise.

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