The purges have begun


First, I publicly deplore all stalkers, and apparently some people have been stalking and harassing Elon Musk, and someone was following his family around. This is despicable. There are people, irrespective of what political position they hold, who lose all perspective and turn their personal dislike for someone into a crusade, and that is a behavior that must be opposed.

However, it is interesting that rather than relying on the police, the law, and social opprobrium to deal with the problem, Musk is lashing out at journalism.

Twitter suspended the accounts of more than half a dozen journalists from CNN, the New York Times, The Washington Post and other outlets Thursday evening, as company owner Elon Musk accused the reporters of posting “basically assassination coordinates” for him and his family.

The Post has seen no evidence that any of the reporters did so.

The suspensions came without warning or initial explanation from Twitter. They took place a day after Twitter changed its policy on sharing “live location information” and suspended an account, @ElonJet, that had been using public flight data to share the location of Musk’s private plane.

@ElonJet wasn’t stalking him. The account was posting publicly available information that you can still get online (although less conveniently formatted), and it had been arbitrarily closed by Musk, after he’d said he wouldn’t.

On Wednesday, @ElonJet was permanently suspended despite a tweet from Musk weeks earlier, saying he would keep it up as part of “my commitment to free speech.”

So much for his commitment to free speech. His latest spasm is even more revealing, though — he’s killing accounts for even mentioning the @ElonJet account, or reporting on confrontations with his stalker.

Around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Musk joined a Twitter Spaces chat — essentially a public conference call — with several journalists, including some who had been banned, in which he reiterated his claim that they had “doxed” him.

The journalists challenged him on this.

“You’re suggesting that we’re sharing your address, which is not true,” said Harwell.

Musk retorted, “You posted a link to the address.”

Harwell replied, “In the course of reporting on @ElonJet, we posted a link to @ElonJet, which is now not online.”

Musk left the call abruptly about four minutes into it.

He has since shut down Twitter Spaces. Or maybe it just broke because he’s been starving the maintenance teams?

We’re now entering the tyrant’s paranoia phase, where he is afraid of all the enemies he imagines are out to get him. He’s losing everywhere — Twitter was never a money-maker to begin with, but now Tesla’s value is plummeting, people are beginning to look at his other business ventures with a skeptical eye (The Boring Company and Hyperloop were clearly useless scams intended to kill mass transit), and his Mars fantasies are pretentious delusions — and he’s seeing well-deserved criticism as personal attacks and even threats to his life. This is a bad attitude to have if you’re trying to run a company whose whole purpose is to allow and encourage free discussion about anything and everything. If his incompetence doesn’t kill Twitter, his eagerness to ban journalists who tweet will do the job.

It’s also hypocritical. Many of us have experienced online stalking that has risen to disruptive levels, far worse than what Elon Musk gets. The old Twitter just shrugged and ignored it, allowing Nazis and misogynists to harass whoever they wanted, and Musk has made it worse. You want to cry and complain about people picking on you, but at the same time you’ve dismantled what little machinery Twitter had in place to police that kind of behavior? I’m not going to feel much sympathy for your chickenshit fee-fees.

Comments

  1. sqlrob says

    Someone geo-located the video that he used as his rationale for the banning. It’s nowhere near an airport.

  2. raven says

    Twitter was both social media and an important news media outlet.

    Most news media tweeted at least the headlines of their important and breaking stories.
    As such, Twitter was both useful and important.

    Without the news media, what is left is a troll playground for Nazis, antivaxxers, and various other conspiracy theorists.

    It is time for capitalism to do its thing and for a Twitter analogue to step up and replace Twitter. At this point, they could pay Elon Musk a consultant’s fee to keep on wrecking Twitter while they steal all its customers.

  3. raven says

    Twitter was never a money-maker to begin with, but now Tesla’s value is plummeting, people are beginning to look at his other business ventures with a skeptical eye (The Boring Company and Hyperloop were clearly useless scams intended to kill mass transit), and his Mars fantasies are pretentious delusions

    It’s even worse than people actually looking at what Musk has accomplished.

    Strangely enough, some things worked like Tesla and SpaceX.
    Some are losing money and going nowhere i.e. The Boring Company.

    Many people are looking at Musk himself and seeing their nightmares, an ultra rich far right wingnut who hates people like themselves. That is women, progressives, social justice advocates, acceptors of modern medicine, people who don’t want to die from the Covid-19 virus, people who don’t want to die in a right wing terrorist attack, people who don’t want to be sent the North American Gulags, wokes whoever they are, etc..
    I’m sure Musk is getting his To Hate list together and it will be a long one, most of the US population.

    So, why would anyone who Musk hates and wants to harm, buy anything from…Elon Musk?
    They won’t.
    He has scared off millions of potential customers for Tesla cars, Twitter accounts, Starlink terminals, and giant Boring machines capable of digging your luxury underground bunkers.
    We/they don’t want a penny (or Elon GOAT cryptocurrency or Bitcoin) of our hard earned money going to a guy like him.

    I will never buy anything even remotely associated with Elon Musk.

  4. raven says

    Musk isn’t just purging journalists.
    He has a long list already and it is getting longer.
    So far, we have Ukraine, left wingers, and journalists.
    Next up, who knows, Trans, public health officials, Democrats, ???

    He is pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian genocide and has blocked Ukraine.

    Did Elon’s Twitter Blacklist Ukrainians? Key Feature …https://www.benzinga.com › news › did-elons-twitter-bl…

    2 days ago — Elon Musk’s Twitter has purportedly disabled the Ukrainian dialing code (+380) from its list of accepted phone numbers.

    and

    Evidence Grows of Left-Wing Twitter Purge Directed by Right Wing Musk https://www.commondreams.org › news › 2022/11/30

    Nov 30, 2022 — “Elon Musk appears to have outsourced decisions about who to ban from Twitter to the platform’s right-wing extremists,” said The Intercept’s …

  5. specialffrog says

    @Raven: Arguably The Boring Company was never supposed to make money but to derail transit products and keep people buying cars.

  6. chrislawson says

    timgueguen@6–

    He’s extremely famous and doing his best to build a personality cult. It doesn’t mean his specific accusations are correct (it looks to me like a transparent cover story to ban voices he dislikes while pretending to be a staunch free-speech advocate), but it would not surprise me at all if Musk had several stalkers.

  7. Aoife_b says

    I’ll believe Musk cares about “assassination coordinates” once LibsOfTikTok is gone permanently

  8. says

    WTF!! musk melon declared himself a ‘free speech absolutist’. What a lying sack of CRAP. He is just as dishonest, deceitful, greedy and stupid as tRUMP! And, Kevin (charley McCarthy) said Ilhan Omar is pushing anti-semitism and MANY Jewish groups jumped on his LIE saying the GQP not Omar is anti-semitic. This kind of BS drives us to want to distance and divest ourselves from this insane society.

  9. says

    As we’ve commented earlier, musk melon, like bill the gate$, and others, bought and/or stole their tech empire. They both continue to prove what ignorant barbarians they are.

  10. says

    @5 raven I agree with your idea. I wish there were a huge HONEST place for news to be posted and exchanged. However, as we have seen countless times, anytime someone tries that it is fatally polluted by hordes of rtwinnut xtian hateful trolls.

  11. says

    @7 raven (I’m not playing favorites, there are many commenters here I like) but the idea of people not buying even the good tech that musk melon purchased is true. I am part of and Elect. Veh. mailing list and would love to have a good inexpensive E.V. Teslas have great potential and have greatly helped the E.V. cause. However, recent horrid revelations of musk have made me say, “I will never buy anything that even remotely benefits that evil ahole musk”.

  12. rietpluim says

    I thought we had to kill Twitter after Elon purchased it, but it turns he is perfectly capable of doing that all by himself.

  13. ethicsgradient says

    He’s also blocked all links to Mastodon – others found this out, and I just tried linking to one of your (non-Twitter, plane-tracking or Musk-related) Mastodon posts. It still come back claiming the link has been “identified as potentially harmful”.

  14. ethicsgradient says

    @14 shermanj It’s from Starship Troopers – a fascist human society battles huge arthropods in space.

  15. says

    @19 ethicsgradient, thanks for the info. I did read the Heinlein book decades ago. The movie (maybe apart from that scene) is SO bleak I don’t think I could watch it right now since we are so immersed in violence.

  16. Nes says

    shermanj@14:
    Starship Troopers. I’d link to a clip of it, but the only one I could find was posted by an obvious right-wing troll and I don’t want to give them the views.

  17. says

    Now, if only PZ could create a huge unstoppable arachnid arthropod that he could use to destroy all the hateful, rightwingnuts. But, I fear the list of them grows faster than his monster arachnid would be able to rid the world of those scum. The world is rapidly becoming a post-apocalyptic science-fiction plot. And, the musk melon is one (of too many) of the major villains.

  18. Rich Woods says

    However, it is interesting that rather than relying on the police, the law, and social opprobrium to deal with the problem, Musk is lashing out at journalism.

    He’s an alpha male billionaire male alpha billionaire person. He knows best. He can’t trust society to fix his problems — he’s got to buy answers, buy the solution. Got to cut off the problem at source. He knows best, else he wouldn’t be an alpha billionaire male alpha, he’d be just another tiny stalkee or doxxee, not a real person owning a global communications Wild West free-speech empire praised by stalkers and doxxers alike. Alpha smug.

  19. raven says

    The world is rapidly becoming a post-apocalyptic science-fiction plot.

    That was why I stopped reading horror fiction.

    Real life and the news media were becoming scary enough as it is, so why add more to it?

  20. birgerjohansson says

    Giving narcissists unlimited power never works well.

    BTW in regard to capitalism- did I mention Sweden is producing a very large number of billionaires when correlated for population size? And it is not oil-company heirs and other riffraff, it is tech startups that create them.
    It is almost as if all that money plowed into educating the commoners is paying off handsomly for society.
    And since the workers do not die from untreated rickets or whatever, the educated workforce is stable.
    But if you point out this to Republicans (and corporate Democrats) they will react like the priests who refused to watch the planets through Galileo’s telescope.
    The world ends at the American border.

    (I cannot take credit for our local conditions- I was just born in a place where corruption was not seen as a virtue. We all looked up to USA back then)

  21. unclefrogy says

    I have had the feeling for some time now that I am living in the world of William Gibson, the news does not help at all!

  22. says

    I’m on a Tesla Facebook page and other members are reporting a significant drop in Tesla resale values as owners are starting to unload them. Personally, I own a Tesla and I like the car, and I’d love to be able to afford dumping it because of my hatred for Musk and what he’s doing to the planet, but I just can’t.
    But there are a lot of very rich people who CAN afford to lose $20,000 on a car and just go out and get a new one from somewhere else. And a lot of rich progressives own Tesla’s.
    Tesla is also now offering quite a few significant incentives on brand new cars, after raising the prices on those cars all summer and into the fall.

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