Elon Musk
Elon MuskReuters

Twitter on Thursday suspended several high-profile journalists who have been covering the company and Elon Musk. Some messages indicated the accounts were "permanently suspended", according to a report in NBC News.

The suspensions come a day after Twitter changed its policies around accounts that track private jets, including one owned by Elon Musk.

Among the accounts suspended are those of Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Donie O'Sullivan of CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Matt Binder of Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept, Steve Herman of Voice of America and independent journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann and Tony Webster.

The Twitter account for Mastodon, a platform billed as an alternative, was also suspended early Thursday evening.

Musk indicated that the suspensions stemmed from the platform's new rules banning private jet trackers. He was responding to a tweet from Mike Solana, vice president of venture capital firm Founders Fund, who noted that the suspended accounts had posted links to jet trackers on other websites.

"Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not," he added in another tweet.

It was not immediately clear why the accounts were suspended, though some had been tweeting about the suspension of the Twitter account that tracked Musk's jet, @ElonJet, and its availability on Mastodon.

A spokesperson for The New York Times who called the suspensions questionable and unfortunate said that no explanation was provided to Mac or the news organization about the ban.

“We hope that all of the journalists’ accounts are reinstated and that Twitter provides a satisfying explanation for this action,” said Charlie Stadtlander, communications director for the Times.

Lee said in a text message that before the suspension he had attempted to tweet out a link to the Mastodon account that tracked Musk’s jet but was unable to and instead tweeted a screenshot.

A spokesperson for CNN said the suspensions were "impulsive and unjustified" — but not surprising.

"Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses Twitter," the network said in a statement. "We have asked Twitter for an explanation, and we will reevaluate our relationship based on that response."

Musk said after his purchase of Twitter that he was against censorship and reversed former US President Donald Trump’s ban from the platform.

In late November, Musk announced “a general amnesty” for suspended Twitter users after posting a poll over whether the platform should take action to restore affected accounts.

Musk has stirred up some controversy since his purchase of Twitter became official. On the day the sale went final, he fired at least four top executives at the company.

Later, Twitter laid off half its workforce, with tweets by staff of the social media company saying the team responsible for human rights was among those affected. Days later, key security executives resigned from the platform.