Musk blasts 'Twitter Files' journalist for 'virtue-signaling' on doxxing suspensions

Musk has cited concerns for his personal security and that of his children as justification for the suspensions and the doxxing policy and did not take kindly to Weiss's stance on the issue.

Updated: December 16, 2022 - 8:52pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Friday blasted one of his own hand-picked "Twitter Files" journalists for "virtue-signaling" against his suspension of journalists whom he says violated the company's policy on "doxxing."

Musk suspended several left-wing journalists on Thursday evening in connection with their reporting on Musk's ongoing spat with a college student who operates an automated service that tracks the location of his private jet in real-time.

Jack Sweeney, who ran the @elonjet account, had several of his automated tracking accounts suspended, along with his personal account this week. Musk has asserted that the company does not allow the publication of someone's location in real-time but that doing so on a delayed basis would be acceptable. Sweeney previously turned down an offer of $5,000 to take down the account.

Musk's suspension of several journalists, including reporters for CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, drew considerable scrutiny, including from former New York Times Editor Bari Weiss, whom Musk tapped to help release the "Twitter Files," an ongoing project wherein journalists steadily release internal communications from Twitter detailing its censorship operations.

Weiss took exception to the bans, tweeting on Friday that "[t]he old regime at Twitter governed by its own whims and biases and it sure looks like the new regime has the same problem. I oppose it in both cases. And I think those journalists who were reporting on a story of public importance should be reinstated."

Included in her thread were links to her separate reporting on the suspensions. Musk, meanwhile, responded directly to Weiss, asking her what she thought to be an appropriate consequence for doxxing?

"What should the consequence of doxxing someone’s real-time, exact location be? Assume your child is at that location, as mine was," he asked. "Bari, this is a real question, not rhetorical. What is your opinion?"

Musk has cited concerns for his personal security and that of his children as justification for the suspensions and the doxxing policy and did not take kindly to Weiss's stance on the issue.

"Rather than rigorously pursuing truth, you are virtue-signaling to show that you are 'good' in the eyes of media elite to keep one foot in both worlds," he went on.

Weiss attracted considerable media attention in 2020 for her high-profile departure from the New York Times, during which she derided the left-leaning publication's alleged abandonment of free-speech.