SAN FRANCISCO: Elon Musk reinstated the Twitter accounts of several journalists who were suspended after he accused them of endangering his family, with some of those targeted tweeting on Saturday that they were back on the platform.

Musk had drawn anger and warnings from the Eur­opean and United Nations after suspending the acco­unts of more than half a dozen prominent journalists from The New York Times, CNN and The Wash­ington Post.

“The people have spoken. Accounts who doxxed my location will have their sus­pen­sion lifted now,” the Twit­ter owner tweeted late Friday.

Musk carried out a Twitter poll asking whether he should restore the suspended accounts now or in a week’s time. Nearly 59 per cent of the 3.69 million who took part said he should restore the accounts now.

Some of the suspended accounts appeared to have been reactivated, with former Vox journalist Aaron Rupar tweeting again.

On MSNBC, Rupar warned that Twitter’s crackdown, even if temporary, would have a “chilling effect on coverage of Elon Musk” and make reporters think twice about running afoul of the company’s new owner.

UN raises ‘serious concerns’

UN rights chief Volker Turk welcomed Musk’s decision to reinstate the acco­unts, “but serious concerns rem­a­in,” he posted on Twitter.

He also urged Musk to “commit to making decisions based on publicly available policies that respect rights, including free speech. Nothing less”.

Earlier, the spokesman for UN chief Antonio Guterres called it a “dangerous precedent at a time when journalists all over the world are facing censorship, physical threats and even worse”.

Published in Dawn, December 18th, 2022

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