The billionaire says the restriction was put in place because the reporters published identifying information about an individual.
Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, late on Thursday suspended several journalists’ accounts on the microblogging platform.
The affected accounts include those of CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac, the Washington Post’s Drew Harwell and journalist Aaron Rupar.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), often referred to as AOC, took to social media to voice her opinion on the matter.
“You’re a public figure. An extremely controversial and powerful one. I get feeling unsafe, but descending into abuse of power plus erratically banning journalists only increases the intensity around you,” she tweeted. “Take a beat and lay off the proto-fascism. Maybe try putting down your phone.”
The move by Twitter seemed by many to conflict with Musk’s claim that one of the reasons he purchased Twitter was that he is a free-speech advocate. He calls himself a free-speech absolutist.
Musk cited doxxing, or sharing personal identifying information, as the reason for the suspensions.
On Wednesday Musk had suspended the account of @elonjet, which was posting public information on the location of his private jet.
There is no indication as of this writing that the suspended journalists had specifically posted information on Musk’s or his jet’s whereabouts.
Rupar, in a post on Substack, said he had posted a tweet that linked to the Facebook page for the account tracking the jet.
“Perhaps that did it,” Rupar wrote. “But I still don’t know what policy that could’ve possibly violated.”