Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, hinted Friday that the service may soon relaunch the Twitter Spaces audio feature after he abruptly removed it in the middle of the night on Thursday night after a dispute with journalists on a Spaces audio call and after Twitter controversially banned the accounts of several prominent reporters.
Twitter disabled its audio service shortly after Musk briefly appeared in a Spaces chat Thursday night that included journalists who were suspended earlier in the day—prior to Friday, banned accounts had been able to access the Spaces feature.
On the call, Musk said the suspensions were aimed at accounts who “doxxed” him by sharing links to his live location, but he dropped out of the meeting after suspended Washington Post reporter Drew Harrell pushed back on the claim.
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Musk launched a poll Thursday night asking users whether he should reinstate accounts “who doxxed my exact location in real-time” either immediately or in seven days. As of 2 p.m. Friday, around 59% of votes were in favor of immediate reinstatement, though the pollremains open until 11:34 p.m. Friday night.
Journalists like Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann and independent writer Aaron Rupar were among those suspended Thursday for allegedly sharing information about Musk’s location, which appeared centered around tweeting about a tracker that uses publicly available information to share the location of Musk’s private jet. Twitter suspended the account tracking the jet(@ElonJet) Wednesday, with the billionaire threatening to take legal action against the 20-year-old University of Central Florida student who ran the account, accusing him of endangering his family. The ban came less than six weeks after Musk claimed: “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane.” Twitter’s actions in recent days come in stark contrast with Musk’s stated goal of making the platform a haven for free speech, allowing all statements permissible by law. Twitter also suspended the account of rival social media platform Mastodon on Thursday after it shared a link to the jet tracker’s profile on its network.
We estimate Musk to be worth $169.7 billion, making him the second-richest person in the world. He recently lost his title of world’s richest person to French fashion magnate Bernard Arnault.