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CNN journalist on being banned from Twitter: ‘I poked the billionaire’

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One among the journalists suspended from Twitter by Elon Musk said the mercurial mogul kicked him off the social media site because he “poked the billionaire.”

CNN correspondent Donie O’Sullivan called out Musk’s move as a violation of free speech during an appearance on “CNN This Morning” on Friday.

“Coming from the guy who’s the free speech absolutist, who says he wants this to be a beacon of free expression, it is kind of something to see him banning journalists who all just occur to cover him critically. But I might also say fairly,” said O’Sullivan, who covers technology for the cable network.

On Thursday night, Musk suspended a bunch of reporters who had been critical of him since his $44 billion takeover of the social media platform. Those booted off the positioning included O’Sullivan, Recent York Times reporter Ryan Mac and Drew Harwell of the Washington Post, amongst others.

CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan was one in all the journalists banned from Twitter by Elon Musk.CNN

A few of the suspended accounts belonged to journalists who had recently covered – or tweeted about — the dispute between Musk and a Twitter account operated by Florida college sophomore Jack Sweeney called @ElonJet that tracks the tech mogul’s private jet flights.

Musk modified Twitter’s guidelines on location sharing this week and claimed the accounts were suspended for “doxxing” him, or posting private details about him on the positioning.

O’Sullivan said he fears Musk’s subjective content enforcement could “have a chilling effect” on freelance reporters world wide.

“I worry in regards to the chilling effect that this may need on those reporters, particularly once you think that Musk also owns these other corporations, Tesla and SpaceX,” O’Sullivan said. “What when you’re in Germany or elsewhere and also you’re reporting on perhaps poor working conditions? Is he going to come back and just stamp down because he says, ‘Oh, that’s against the principles’?”

Elon MuskA defiant Elon Musk banned a handful of journalists, insisting they “doxxed” him.Getty Images

Twitter didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Musk briefly tuned right into a Twitter Spaces conference chat late Thursday, where he was bombarded with questions from among the banned journalists.

He abruptly ended the interview when he was challenged by one in all the reporters, who identified that what he described was not, actually, “doxxing.”

Harwell denied sharing details about Musk’s real-time location, insisting he only reported on the suspension of the @ElonJet account.

Elon muskO’Sullivan said he apprehensive in regards to the “chilling effect” Musk’s ban may need on other journalists with smaller platforms.Getty Images

“There just isn’t special treatment for journalists,” a defiant Musk said.

“You dox, you get suspended, end of story,” he added, before abruptly leaving the chat.

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