The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz has been suspended from Twitter by Elon Musk.
The suspension occurred on December 17, 2022. Lorenz tweets at @TaylorLorenz.
Her page read, “Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules.”
Lorenz later recorded a TikTok video, saying she was banned permanently from Twitter but did not know why. She captioned it, “What happened to FREE SPEECH??!!!”
Lorenz later wrote a lengthy post on her Substack page. “Twitter has served as an essential real time news source and played a crucial role in the journalism world, but Musk’s arbitrary suspensions of journalists who report on him should worry anyone who values journalism and free expression,” she wrote.
Here’s what you need to know:
‘Super Crazy,’ Lorenz Declared in the TikTok Video
@taylorlorenz What happened to FREE SPEECH??!!! #elonmusk #twitter #tech #technews #musk #technology #journalist #news ♬ My Heart Will Go On (Titanic) – Maliheh Saeedi & Faraz Taali
In the TikTok video, Lorenz said, “Hey guys, The rumors are true. I have been permanently suspended by Twitter. I was given zero reason.”
She said she “only had three tweets on my account. Two of them were promoting my other social media channels.”
She mentioned her Instagram page, Substack account, and YouTube channel.
“I was suddenly logged out. I just had those two tweets and a tweet where I asked Elon for comment today, revealing zero information,” she says in the TikTok video.
“Super crazy. Elon seems to be banning anyone he disagrees with, and I certainly did not violate any terms that I was aware of.”
She said she was with “my fellow banned user” Ryan Mac of The New York Times. Mac was one of the journalists temporarily suspended by Musk.
Earlier in the day Musk lifted the suspensions against other journalists on Twitter, tweeting, “The people have spoken. Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now.” He has not yet explained why he banned Lorenz’s account. The suspensions of journalists’ accounts has caused a firestorm of debate.
Ezra Kaplan, a tech producer for NBC News, tweeted, “Taylor Lorenz’s account was suspended after tweeting at @elonmusk asking for comment. Here is what she has to say: ‘Cancel culture has gone too far. I think the way that musk is arbitrarily banning anyone who he personally doesn’t like has dangerous consequences for free speech.'”
He also quoted her saying, “As a journalist, I have always been a fierce defender of free speech and so these moves by Musk are worrying.”
Here’s what you need to know:
People on Twitter Began Sharing Screenshots of Lorenz’s Suspended Page
Lorenz has her share of critics on the right, and, as a result, memes and jokes flew on Twitter after her suspension.
However, others defended her.
On December 15, 2022, Ariadna Jacob wrote on Twitter, copying Musk:
I’m not famous and I wasn’t a public figure either when Taylor Lorenz asked for my address, said it wasn’t for publication and then proceeded to dox me in the NYT with the address she had assured me she wasn’t going to publish. The article was shared many x on Twitter. @elonmusk
Jacob is a TikTok agent who has sued the New York Times, alleging that a Lorenz story damaged her business, according to The New York Post. It’s not clear whether her allegations played any role in Lorenz’s suspension, though.
Lorenz Is a Columnist Who Covers ‘Technology & Online Culture’
Lorenz is a technology reporter for The Washington Post. “Taylor Lorenz is a columnist at The Washington Post covering technology and online culture. Before joining The Post, she was a technology reporter for the New York Times’ business section. She was also previously a technology reporter at the Atlantic and the Daily Beast,” the Post biography for her reads.
“She was a 2019 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where her research focused on Instagram and news consumption. She is also a former affiliate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Lorenz also serves on the board of the Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society (ATLAS) Institute at the University of Colorado at Boulder.”
Lorenz Recently Criticized Musk About Other Journalists’ Suspensions
Lorenz had recently spoken out about the suspensions of other journalists by Musk.
“The whole way trending topics works is definitely fundamentally broken. It’s just so rich to hear him [Musk] complain about doxxing and harassment,” Lorenz said in the Spaces meeting. “I mean, I am doxxed and harassed constantly on this app…That doesn’t mean that everything needs to be moderated more heavily, but I do think users deserve more control over their own experience.”
She continued: “It’s just weird because definitely, in the past few weeks for instance, people tweeting out stuff like information about my family or all this stuff that’s been used to target my family directly in the past. I’ve reported it and the reports go nowhere, like the tweets go nowhere.”
Lorenz continued: “The woman that I used to reach out to when this stuff happened at Twitter has been let go from Twitter, and I just hear this from a lot of people. So I feel like Elon focused on his own experience, but for the rest of us, it’s definitely become a less safe platform.”
Video of her comments was shared by the Twitter page Libs of TikTok, which has famously accused Lorenz of doxxing.
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