UN and EU condemn Twitter over reporters’ ban

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UN and EU condemn Twitter over reporters’ ban

The United Nations has joined the European Union in condemning Twitter’s decision to suspend some journalists who cover the social media firm.

Reporters for the New York Times, CNN and the Washington Post were among those locked out of their accounts.

The UN tweeted that media freedom is “not a toy” while the EU has threatened Twitter with sanctions.

A Twitter spokesman told a US tech news website the bans were related to the live sharing of location data.

Melissa Fleming, the UN’s under secretary general for global communications, said she was “deeply disturbed” by reports that journalists were being “arbitrarily” suspended from Twitter.

“Media freedom is not a toy,” she said. “A free press is the cornerstone of democratic societies and a key tool in the fight against harmful disinformation.”

Earlier on Friday, EU commissioner Vera Jourova threatened Twitter with sanctions under Europe’s new Digital Services Act which she said requires “the respect of media freedom and fundament rights”.

“Elon Musk should be aware of that. There are red lines. And sanctions, soon,” she added.

Mr Musk has not commented directly on the suspensions, but said in a tweet that “criticising me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not”.

The technology tycoon later set up a poll asking whether he should unsuspend the accounts “now” or “in seven days”, suggesting the decision could be reversed sooner rather than later.

“Same doxxing rules apply to ‘journalists’ as to everyone else,” he added, using a term to describe the release of private information online about individuals.

A spokesman for the New York Times called the suspensions “questionable and unfortunate”.