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‘There are red lines’: Europe warns of sanctions after Twitter bans journalists | CNN Business


Elon Musk’s decision to suddenly ban prominent tech journalists of Twitter is provoking a fierce reaction in Europe.

Germany has warned of the impact on press freedom, while a senior EU official said Twitter must abide by the bloc’s rules or face possible sanctions.

“Freedom of the press cannot be switched on and off at will”, German Foreign Office tweeted on Friday. “As of today these journalists can no longer follow us, comment or criticize. We have a problem with that @Twitter.”

Věra Jourová, the European Commission’s vice president for values ​​and transparency, called the “arbitrary suspension” of journalists “worrying,” noting that the company could face sanctions as a result.

“The EU Digital Services Law requires respect for press freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced under our #MediaFreedomAct,” Jourová said in a statement. post on twitteradding that Musk “should be aware of that.”

“There are red lines,” he continued. “And sanctions, soon.”

On Thursday night, Twitter banned the accounts of several high-profile journalists from major news organizations without explanation, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, The New York Times’ Ryan Mac and The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell.

Neither Musk nor Twitter responded to a request for comment Thursday night, and the platform did not precisely explain why the journalists were banned from the platform.

Musk falsely claimed that journalists had violated his new “doxing” policy by sharing his live location, amounting to what he described as “kill coordinates.” CNN’s O’Sullivan did not share the billionaire’s live location.

Shortly before his suspension, O’Sullivan reported on Twitter that the social media company had suspended the account of a competitive emerging social media service, Mastodon, allowing the continued posting of @ElonJet, an account that posts the location of the Musk’s private jet. .

Other reporters suspended Thursday had also recently written about the account.

European leaders previously said they were watching how Musk’s acquisition of Twitter would affect the platform.

Thierry Breton, senior EU official, warned musk in late November that the social media platform must take significant steps to comply with block content moderation laws.

“Twitter will need to implement transparent user policies, significantly strengthen content moderation and protect free speech, tackle misinformation resolutely, and limit targeted advertising,” Breton said at the time. “All this requires sufficient AI and human resources, both in volumes and skills. I look forward to making progress in all of these areas and we will get to assess Twitter’s readiness on the site.”

— Chris Liakos, Oliver Darcy, Eve Brennan and Nadine Schmidt contributed to this reporting.

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