Twitter has disabled its live audio feature, Twitter Spaces, after a group of journalists realized they could still use it despite having suspended accounts.
Musk, Twitter’s new owner, acknowledged the glitch late Thursday night, adding that the audio service should be back up and running sometime on Friday.
Earlier in the evening, some of the suspended reporters convened on Twitter Spaces after their accounts were suddenly banned without warning or explanation. They were briefly joined by Musk, who defended the temporary suspensions.
“As I’m sure everyone who has been doxed can agree, showing real-time information about someone’s location is inappropriate,” Musk said in a recording of the conversation later posted online. “And there won’t be any distinction in the future between journalists and regular people. Everyone’s going to be treated the same. You’re not special because you’re a journalist.”
The 51-year-old billionaire added: “You dox, you get suspended.”
Some of the journalists countered, contending they had not posted any real-time flight data or addresses, as he alleged, but had shared links to @ElonJet over the course of their reporting. Musk showed little interest in hearing their arguments and abruptly exited the call.
Twitter Spaces went down shortly after and cut off the session, which was started by Buzzfeed reporter Katie Notopoulos.
The list of journalists whose accounts are suspended includes The New York Times’ Ryan Mac, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, Mashable’s Matt Binder, The Intercept’s Micah Lee, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell and journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster.
Most of the journalists recently covered the suspension of @ElonJet, despite Musk avowing last month he would leave the account up as part of his “commitment to free speech.” The Twitter account, which tracked and shared the location of Musk’s private jet, was created by Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old Florida college student. He relied on publicly available flight tracking information to build a Twitter bot that tweeted every time Musk’s Gulfstream was on the move.
The Tesla CEO has voiced his frustrations with the account in the past and has even offered to pay Sweeney $5,000 to stop posting his location. However, when Sweeney made a counteroffer of $50,000, negotiations seemingly ceased.
By the time the account was banned it had amassed more than 500,000 followers,