Aaron Rupar is a freelance journalist who is very active on the Internet. Based in Washington and followed on Twitter by almost 800,000 people, he is a benchmark for all who are interested in US politics and the growth of far-right movements in the country that elevated Donald Trump. His account has disappeared this afternoon. He wasn’t the only one. Six other journalists have been deleted from Twitter in the last few hours. The common denominator among all? They were liberal and had recently written about Elon Musk, the mogul whose management of the social network is increasingly in question.
Rupar began receiving messages from acquaintances telling him that his account had disappeared. “Initially, I thought they were trolling me,” the journalist wrote on his Substack account, a newsletter subscription platform. “I have no idea what rules I allegedly broke,” he added. He acknowledges that on Wednesday, among the contents that he offered to his audience, was a text by Noah Berlatsky that analyzed the reactionary populism that Musk has championed since he took the helm of Twitter.
Berlatsky’s text began with the embarrassing moment that Musk spent Sunday in San Francisco. The mogul took the stage during a monologue by comedian Dave Chappelle, who invited him up. But the Tesla and SpaceX businessman could not finish speaking before the loud boo he received in the arena. “The big question is: why do Chappelle and Musk think anyone would want to applaud the richest man in the world?” Berlatsky wrote. For now, it remains as a warning that Rupar saw his account disappear without any warning.
Ryan Mac, the technology reporter who writes from Los Angeles for The New York Times has also been deleted from Twitter. His most recent story is from this Wednesday, when he told how 25 accounts that followed the private planes of several millionaires have disappeared from Twitter. Among these was Elon Musk. The @ElonJet account followed his path to the jet to the satisfaction of half a million people. Behind the user was Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old boy, who fed his feed with public information. After buying Twitter at the end of October, Musk released the following message: “My commitment to freedom of expression is such that I will not ban the account that follows my plane, even though it is a risk to my security.” Sweeney’s personal account was also deleted.
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