Updated Dec 18, 2022 - Economy

Musk reinstates Washington Post reporter on Twitter

Photo illustration of Elon Musk shrugging and holding up his hands

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Elon Musk temporarily banned another journalist over the weekend — after he brought some reporters back to the platform after suspending their accounts, using a Twitter poll to decide their fate.

The latest: Taylor Lorenz, a technology and online culture columnist at the Washington Post, on Sunday appeared to have her Twitter account reinstated after it was suspended on Saturday.

  • Lorenz wrote in a tweet on Sunday that she believes Twitter's newest rule that bans accounts used to promote the accounts of other specific social media platforms is what led to her suspension.
  • Twitter said it would suspend accounts made specifically for the purpose of promoting Facebook, Instagram and Mastodon and other platforms.
  • Before being banned, Lorenz had a tweet that linked to her other social media platforms, including Instagram and Post, which are prohibited under Twitter's new rule.

Catch up quick: Lorenz and Drew Harwell, another Washington Post tech reporter, were researching an article involving Musk. In an attempt to contact him, Lorenz requested an interview via a tweet on Saturday, she wrote.

  • Later that day, when she went to check whether there was a response, she received a notification that her account was suspended.

The big picture: Musk has repeatedly said he supports free speech and intends to use Twitter to promote it, Axios' Sara Fischer writes. However, he has been inconsistent with content moderation decisions.

State of play: Musk asked Thursday night if the "accounts who doxxed my exact location in real-time" should be unsuspended from Twitter.

  • This was a reference to a number of prominent journalists, who were kicked off Twitter on Thursday night, Axios reports.
  • The poll, which had more than 3.6 million votes, showed the majority of voters (58.7%) wanted the accounts brought back "now."
  • "The people have spoken," Musk tweeted.

Flashback: Musk's comments on his location stemmed from the controversy earlier this week when the account that actively tracked Musk's private jet was suspended from the platform.

Driving the news: Musk on Saturday — after reinstating some journalists on the platform — bashed the "corporate media" on his account, writing: "They abandon even the pretense of noble principles in their zeal to keep their monopoly on information seen by the public."

  • Musk in a separate Twitter response also said: "They think they’re better than everyone else."

Of note: A Twitter poll similarly helped Musk decide whether or not to bring former President Trump back to Twitter.

  • In late November, Musk reinstated Trump's Twitter account after a poll from Musk showed millions of accounts (52% of 15 million total votes) wanted him back on the platform, Axios reports.
  • Trump said he has no plans to return to Twitter, and will remain on his own social media platform, Truth Social.

More from Axios:

Elon Musk's Twitter suspends several journalists' accounts without notice

Twitter press suspensions become media flashpoint

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details and with a new headline.

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