On December 15, 2022, under Elon Musk, Twitter suspended several prominent journalists’ accounts from publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN, among others.

In a bizarre appearance on a Twitter Spaces conversation, Musk tried – and failed – to justify the suspension by alleging that these journalists had violated Twitter rules by sharing links that contained live location information. 

That in itself was a strange turn of events, as Musk had previously stated that this very activity would not be banned:

However, Musk left the conversation when shown that his assumption couldn’t be true for at least one of the journalists. Later on, that Twitter Space was taken down. One can only imagine by whom. 

This behavior is not just childish; it’s dangerous. Musk’s Twitter is acting to censor journalists reporting on their censorship campaign. 

Yes, Twitter is a private company and, as such, is not regulated by the First Amendment. Even if it is ill-advised in doing so, it can prohibit sharing real-time location information. However, when it starts suspending the accounts of journalists reporting on any story, it steps into the territory of gross manipulation of speech that has no place in societies that value freedom of expression.

There’s a reason the press is expressly mentioned in the First Amendment. Its framers feared how people would abuse the power of regulating speech and prohibited the government from doing so outright. Elon Musk should take note.
Thankfully, Twitter is just a small – and private – platform. Consumers can move to other public squares if they so choose. Friends of free speech should consider doing so.

For more content on related topics, be sure to check out our Freedom of Expression video playlist by clicking on the button below.

This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.