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Elon Musk bans Twitter account of Washington Post's Taylor Lorenz

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Washington Post technology columnist Taylor Lorenz said her Twitter account was suspended on Saturday after she tweeted a request for comment to Elon Musk, the tech mogul who is the social network’s new owner, about a story in who was working.

Lorenz’s Twitter account (@TaylorLorenz), which she activated in 2010, had over 340,000 followers before it was suspended. “Earlier tonight, Elon Musk suspended my Twitter account,” she wrote on her Substack. “I have not received any communication from the company about why I was suspended or what terms I violated.”

“Super crazy. Elon seems to ban anyone who disagrees with him,” Lorenz said in a TikTok video she shared Saturday night. Lorenz was tweeting from an alternate Twitter account, @nodreamsoflabor, before he too was banned.

Musk has not publicly commented on Lorenz’s suspension via Twitter. There was no response to a request for comment. Variety emailed to the Twitter PR mailbox.

The Twitter ban on Lorenz, who regularly reports on Twitter and Musk, comes after the mega-billionaire suspended the Twitter accounts of several journalists on Thursday – claiming they “doxxed” him, after some (but not all) ) posted links to an account that tracked his private jet — before reinstating several of them on Friday night.

The deactivation of Lorenz’s account, without any obvious explanation, makes it appear that Musk, who calls himself a “free speech absolutist”, is now running a campaign to keep information and commentary critical of him off the platform he bought for $ 44 billion.

In the Substack post, Lorenz said there were only three active tweets on her Twitter account when she was banned: two that promoted her TikTok and Instagram profiles, and a third asking Musk to comment on a story involving Musk that she and the WaPo colleague Drew Harwell (whose account was banned and later unbanned) is working.

Lorenz did not provide details on what the story was. His tweet to Musk said in part: “We’ve learned some information that we’d like to share and discuss with you.”

At least two journalists banned and unbanned from Twitter this week, Aaron Rupar and Tony Webster, have denied posting any information that could be construed as “doxxing,” which refers to sharing someone’s private information online without their permission. “This is not the free speech we were promised,” Webster tweeted late on Friday. “To be clear, there was no ‘doxing’ – even if an impulsive and unaccountable oligarch would say so.”

Twitter is requiring some of the suspended journalists to delete tweets that violate Musk’s new policy prohibiting sharing real-time location information (“regardless of whether that information is publicly available”). Podcaster and political commentator Keith Olbermann on Saturday posted on his Dog Rescue Twitter account on @keitholbermann’s suspension, “I’ve been unbanned, then time-banned, then banned again, and banned until I delete a tweet you can’t see anyway… within the space of two hours. What a clown this snowflake @elonmusk is.”

Journalists whose Twitter accounts were suspended – and not reinstated – include Fox Business correspondent Susan Li (@susanlitv), who said in a segment on the network on Friday that she was kicked off the social network after posting a link to a aircraft tracking website to show how Musk’s private jet can be tracked using publicly available sources. Also still banned from Twitter as of Saturday was Linette Lopez (@lopezlinette) of Insider, who has been reporting on Musk and his companies for years. Lopez told the AP that shortly before her suspension, she had posted legal documents on Twitter that included a 2018 email address for Musk, but which Lopez said was not up to date.

On Friday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), currently chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, criticized Musk’s ban on journalists. “Elon Musk calls himself a free speech absolutist to justify turning a blind eye to hate and bigotry on Twitter. But when journalists report unfavorable news, they are banned without warning,” Schiff wrote in a tweet🇧🇷 “The devotion to free speech is apparently not so absolute. But hypocrisy is.”

Musk he responded to Schiff, “Fortunately, you lose your presidency very soon. Your brain is too small.”

On Instagram, Lorenz posted a photo of herself on Saturday alongside New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, both posing with their hands over their mouths.