The United Nations and European Union on Friday said that they were worried about Twitter suspending the accounts of journalists who wrote about the microblogging platform’s new owner, Elon Musk, AFP reported.
European Union commissioner Věra Jourová indicated that Twitter could face hefty fines in the region for its behaviour.
“Elon Musk should be aware of that,” Jourova said. “There are red lines. And sanctions, soon.”
The spokesperson for United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, said it was a “dangerous precedent at a time when journalists all over the world are facing censorship, physical threats and even worse”, ANI reported.
He added that the United Nations is closely monitoring the developments as Twitter is an important platform to share factual information.
On Thursday, Twitter suspended the accounts of journalists from The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, The Intercept and Mashable and other news publications who recently wrote about Musk.
The accounts were suspended a day after Twitter altered its policies on accounts that track private jets, including the one owned by Musk.
Musk had threatened legal action against these accounts, many of which were operated by 20-year-old Jack Sweeny, saying that his son was being stalked.
On Friday, the billionaire said that Twitter’s rules on doxxing, which refers to sharing personal documents, such as the residential address of a person, applies to journalists like everyone.
Journalists and media organisations have spoken against the suspension.
A spokesperson for The New York Times said that suspending the account of its journalist, Ryan Mac, along with several others, is questionable and unfortunate.
“Neither The Times nor Ryan have received any explanation about why this occurred,” the newspaper said. “We hope that all of the journalists’ accounts are reinstated and that Twitter provides a satisfying explanation for this action.”
CNN said that it has asked Twitter for the reason behind suspending the account of its journalist, Donnie O’Sullivan.
“Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses Twitter,” the spokesperson said.