The new boss of the social network has suspended the accounts of several journalists. The European Union is threatening Twitter with sanctions.

“A major danger for democracy”, RSF reacts to the suspension of journalists’ Twitter accounts

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reacts in a press release to the suspension of a dozen journalists’ Twitter accounts. RSF considers this to be a “major danger to democracy” and calls for the reinstatement of the accounts.

“There is enough of the arbitrariness of the platforms, we must regain democratic control of these platforms before they completely submit the democracies to their whims and it is not too late”, denounces Christophe Deloire, secretary general from RSF, in the same press release.

Twitter plans to force its users to share their personal data

Elon Musk rolled out the Twitter Blue subscription on December 12. Users who pay $8 per month get a certification badge and are less exposed to advertising.

But Twitter needs to make up for its recent ad losses. To compensate for them, Elon Musk intends to impose personalized advertising on free users.

The network would thus like to transmit user data to its commercial partners, including the telephone number (essential for the double authentication of an account), for commercial targeting purposes.

In the event of refusal of this forced agreement, the platform would simply not be accessible.

Twitter hasn’t paid the rent for its offices for several weeks

Twitter has not paid rent for its headquarters in San Francisco and its various offices around the world for several weeks.

Twitter headquarters © SAMANTHA LAUREY / AFP

The reason for these outstanding payments is not only due to the budget cuts put in place by Twitter, Elon Musk would be in full renegotiations of the terms of the various leases of his premises.

Other invoices would also have remained unpaid. Twitter and Elon Musk reportedly refused to pay $197,725 private jet bill.

Elon Musk disables Twitter Spaces

Twitter’s live audio service, Spaces, is inactive, according to Bloomberg observations . Elon Musk justifies himself by specifying that Twitter would fix “a bug” and Spaces “should work again tomorrow”.

The move comes as a number of journalists who had just been suspended from the social network yesterday found they could still participate in a discussion in Spaces.

A new direction “completely erratic”

Elon Musk’s recent decisions are part of his violent arrival at the head of Twitter. Since he has owned the platform, two out of three employees have been made redundant.

Among them, Melissa Ingle, a former data scientist, denounced “erratic management” since the takeover, in a testimony to Tech&Co teams .

“There was no collective deliberation, all these dismissals are based on one person,” she says.

Jean-Noël Barrot says he is “distressed”

The Minister Delegate for the Digital Transition and Telecommunications, Jean-Noël Barrot expressed his doubts about Elon Musk’s decision-making.

“Freedom of the press is at the very foundation of democracy. Attacking one is attacking the other,” he wrote on Twitter .

He adds that he is “distressed by the drift in which Elon Musk is precipitating Twitter”.

Elon Musk also attacks Mastodon

If users take refuge on Mastodon, the main alternative to Twitter, Elon Musk has blocked the URL of its competitor in the publications.

It is therefore no longer possible to redirect your community to Mastodon. Unless you are malicious, as demonstrated by journalist Corentin Lamy.

The German federal government makes an appointment on Mastodon

Faced with the actions of Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, the German federal government has indicated that he can be reached on Mastodon.

A decision deemed “unacceptable” in Germany

Wolfgang Buechner, spokesman for the German federal government, denounced the arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter. He said this was “unacceptable”.

“If this development continues, I will leave the platform,” said Wolfgang Buechner, adding that he was present on the Mastodon social network.

European Union warns of future sanctions

European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova called Twitter’s suspension of journalists’ accounts “worrying” and warned that there would “soon” be “sanctions” applicable under EU law.

“The news about the arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is disturbing,” the official tweeted, recalling that the Digital Services Act – which should apply to tech giants next summer – “requires compliance with freedom of the media and fundamental rights”.

Roland Lescure retires from Twitter

The Minister Delegate in charge of Industry announced “suspend all activity on Twitter” . This decision is a direct result of the suspension of journalist accounts by Elon Musk .

Elon Musk suspends journalists

On Friday December 16, the new boss of Twitter suspended the accounts of several journalists . Elon Musk justified this decision by a new rule of the social network prohibiting revealing the real position of a person in real time.

This decision follows the closure of the @Elonjet account . Created by Jack Sweeney, it published the movements of Elon Musk’s private plane. Despite the resumption of public information, the practice was banned .


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