Washington Post tech columnist Taylor Lorenz said it Twitter account was suspended on Saturday after he tweeted a request for comment to Elon Muskthe tech mogul who is the new owner of the social network, on a story she was working on.
Lorenz’s Twitter account (@TaylorLorenz), which she activated in 2010, had more than 340,000 followers before it was suspended. “Earlier tonight, Elon Musk suspended my Twitter account,” she wrote. wrote on its substack. “I have not received any communication from the company about the reasons for my suspension or the terms that I violated.”
“Super crazy. Elon seems to ban anyone who disagrees with him,” Lorenz said in a TikTok video she shared Saturday night. Lorenz had tweeted from another Twitter account, @nodreamsoflabor, before that was also banned.
Musk has not publicly commented on Lorenz’s Twitter suspension. There was no response to a request for comment The variety emailed to Twitter’s PR mailbox.
Twitter ban of Lorenz, who has regularly reported on Twitter and Musk, comes after mega-billionaire suspended the Twitter accounts of several journalists Thursday – alleging they ‘doxxed’ him, after some (but not all) posted links to an account that tracked his private jet – before by reinstating several of them on Friday evening.
The deactivation of Lorenz’s account, without any obvious explanation, gives the impression that Musk, who has called himself a “free speech absolutist”, is now waging a campaign to keep critical information and commentary to his respect off the platform it bought for $44 billion.
In the Substack post, Lorenz said there were only three live tweets on his Twitter account when he was banned: two promoting his profiles on TikTok and Instagram, and a third asking Musk to comment on a story involving Musk that she and fellow WaPo Drew Harwell (whose account was banned and later unbanned) worked on.
Lorenz did not provide details about the subject of the story. His tweet to Musk read in part, “We have learned some information that we would like to share and discuss with you.”
At least two Twitter reporters banned and then unbanned this week, Aaron Rupar and Tony Webster, have denied posting material that could be construed as “doxxing,” which refers to sharing someone’s private information online without their permission. “This is not the freedom of speech we were promised,” Webster tweeted Friday night. “To be clear, there was no ‘doxing’ – even though an impulsive, unaccountable oligarch said so.”
Twitter is asking some of the journalists it has suspended to remove tweets deemed to violate Musk’s brand new policy prohibiting the sharing of real-time location information (“regardless of whether that information is publicly available”). Podcaster and political commentator Keith Olbermann on Saturday posted from his dog rescue Twitter account regarding @keitholbermann’s suspension, “I was unbanned then time-banned then re-banned then banned until I deleted a tweet you can’t see anyway…in the span of two hours. What clown what @elonmusk snowflake is.
Journalists whose Twitter accounts have been suspended — and have not been reinstated — include Fox Business correspondent Susan Li (@susanlitv), who said in a segment on the network She was kicked off the social network on Friday after posting a link to a plane tracking site to show how Musk’s private jet can be tracked using publicly available sources. Insider’s Linette Lopez (@lopezlinette), who has reported on Musk and his businesses for years, was also still banned from Twitter on Saturday. Lopez told the AP that shortly before her suspension, she posted legal documents on Twitter that included an email address for Musk from 2018 but which Lopez said was outdated.
On Friday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), currently chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, criticized Musk’s banning of journalists. “Elon Musk calls himself a free speech absolutist to justify turning a blind eye to hate and bigotry on Twitter. But when journalists report unfavorable news, they are banned without warning,” Schiff wrote in a Tweeter. “The dedication to freedom of expression is apparently not so absolute. But the hypocrisy is.
Musk responded to Schiff, “Fortunately, you are losing your presidency very soon. Your brain is too small.
On Instagram, Lorenz posted a photo of herself on Saturday alongside New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, both of them putting their hands over their mouths.