Twitter reinstates at least eight accounts suspended in the ‘Thursday Night Massacre’
Mashable’s Matt Binder is among eight journalists whose suspended accounts have been reinstated after they were locked in what has been dubbed the Thursday Night Massacre (That’s even the name of the Wikipedia article). The suspensions occurred on Dec. 15, and the accounts belonged to tech journalists who had been critical of site owner Elon Musk.
Musk orchestrated sweeping changes to the site’s doxxing policy on Wednesday night in response to an incident with an alleged “crazy stalker,” and he retroactively explained the suspensions as having been enforcement of the new rule. Binder finds this explanation dubious, but notes that part of being owner of Twitter is that Musk “doesn’t need a reason,” to suspend accounts he doesn’t like. It’s rich for Musk to call himself a “free speech absolutist,” and criticize Twitter’s former leadership for being too hasty with bans when he’s this eager to suspend his critics — particularly after he specifically said he welcomed his enemies on Twitter.
Reinstated journalists as of Saturday morning are as follows:
The account for the competing social media platform Mastodon is also back.
As of this writing on Saturday morning, the accounts belonging to Matt Binder, as well as some of the others, include a placeholder for a tweet with the text “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules” in it. Matt Binder believes the removed post may have been a retweet, and notes, “they didn’t ask me to delete anything,” so it remains unclear exactly what the rule violation ostensibly was.
Musk had posted polls asking if and when the accounts should be reinstated, and the replies overwhelmingly supported reinstatement as soon as possible. Musk was upfront about this when the accounts were reinstated, and tweeted one of his new catchphrases: “The people have spoken.”
However, one notable exception to the wave of reinstatements is broadcaster Keith Olbermann, who may have earned additional disapprobation from Musk by tweeting from a secondary account. Olbermann remains suspended as of this writing.
The account of Musk-critical journalist Linette Lopez, which was not part of the initial rollout of suspensions, is still suspended for now.