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Germany heavily criticizes Elon Musk’s Twitter for suspending journalists, saying the free press ‘must not be switched on and off at will’

Elon Musk's Twitter account displayed on a mobile with Elon Musk in the background are seen in this illustration. In Brussels - Belgium on 19 November 2022. (Photo illustration by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)The government account raised concerns about the potential risks to a free press.

Photo illustration by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • The German Foreign Office has warned Twitter about suspending journalists’ accounts.
  • Multiple journalists who reported on Elon Musk have been unable to post on the platform.
  • The government account tweeted “we have a problem @Twitter,” in reference to the suspensions.

The German Foreign Office has said that the platform’s suspension of certain journalists is problematic.

On Thursday, Twitter suspended the accounts of multiple journalists that reported on the platform’s new owner, Elon Musk. The journalists include reporters from prominent news outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Musk said the suspensions were related to his earlier ban on an account run by a college student that tracks his private jet. He has taken issue with the account sharing his “live location,” which is against Twitter’s newly updated privacy policy. This is despite the jet-tracking data being publically available.

Sharing screenshots of some of the suspended journalist’s accounts, the German Foreign Office’s Twitter account tweeted: “As of today, the journalists below can no longer follow, comment or criticize us. So we have a problem @Twitter .”

It added that the free press “must not be switched on and off at will.”

Wolfgang Buechner, the country’s deputy government spokesperson, said in a separate tweet: “Arbitrary locking of journalists’ accounts is unacceptable. If this development continues, I will leave this platform. You can find me on Mastodon.”

On Friday, a top European Union official warned Elon Musk about possible Twitter sanctions, following what it described as the platform’s “arbitrary suspension of journalists.”

The official, Věra Jourová, who is the EU’s vice-president for values and transparency, also said the suspensions were “worrying” and that there were “red lines.”

Representatives for Twitter did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside normal working hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider