Who is Aaron Rupar? What Deserves to Be Suspended on Twitter?
Who is Aaron Rupar? – Twitter has suspended the accounts of well-known socialist journalist Aaron Rupar and journalists from CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post who have covered Elon Musk.
The day after Twitter reinstated an account that tracked the billionaire’s private jet, Rupar’s account was suspended. Rupar has around 788 thousand followers.
Mr. Musk wrote on Thursday night, “Criticizing me all day is perfectly acceptable, but doing my real-time whereabouts and risking my family is not.”
Later, Mr. Musk tweeted that the accounts will be taken down for a week on his $44 billion platform. “7-day ban for doxxing. “Some time away from Twitter is healthy for the soul,” he tweeted in response to a follower who stated they did not want to see anyone permanently banned.
On the same day, Twitter suspended the Mastodon account, a social media competitor. CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, and The New York Times’ Ryan Mac, who have all lately covered Mr. Musk, have also been suspended.
“I have never posted anything relevant to Elon Jet or that could violate the policy regarding location disclosure.” Unless the principle is that anyone who criticizes Elon will be banned, Rupar said Oliver Darcy of CNN.
It appears Twitter has banned the accounts of Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) and Washington Post reporter @drewharwell. Unclear why, but this seems to be the final tweet from Harwell. pic.twitter.com/i8cblDuhDQ
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) December 16, 2022
Who is Aaron Rupar?
Aaron Rupar, age 39, was banned from Twitter on December 15, 2022.
However, as of late, the independent journalist has only posted the Substack newsletter of another author. The independent journalist had previously criticized Elon Musk, the new owner of the platform.
However, the message was a Public Notice on his Substack platform. Noah Berlatsky’s Substack titled Elon Musk’s Reactionary Populism was titled Reactionary Populism.
Ben Collins of NBC News writes that Rupar does not know why he was suspended. Keith Olbermann, a political analyst, and Micah Flee of The Intercept were also suspended.
“Elon claims to be a champion of free speech, yet he prohibits journalists from exercising this right,” Harwell told Darcy. I believe this throws into doubt his dedication.
Rupar was suspended a day after releasing an essay for Substack with the title “Elon Musk’s Reactionary Populism” that criticized Mr. Musk. The article added, “It’s all about striking down at the already marginalized.” After serving as associate editor at Vox Media until 2021, Rupar covered national politics as a freelance journalist.
Rupar frequently analyses right-wing politicians like Donald Trump, Fox News, and celebrities like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. Before acquiring the San Francisco-based company for $44 billion in October, Mr. Musk unsuccessfully attempted to acquire the jet-tracking account.
His suspension of the @ElonJet account occurred weeks after he stated that he would not have done so due to his “commitment to free expression.” On November 6, he tweeted, “My dedication to free expression extends to not blocking the account following my plane, despite the direct risk to my safety.”
What Deserves to Be Suspended on Twitter?
By the pre-Musk standards for suspensions, the following would warrant a temporary suspension while Twitter investigated your profile for context and reason:
- Glorifying Violence, Terrorism, and Extremist Violence
- Sexual Exploitation of Children
- Abuse and Intimidation of Others
- Hateful Behavior (I.e., Racism, Etc.)
- Promoting Suicide or Self-mutilation
- Graphic Brutality
- Adult Content
- Offering Illicit Products or Services
- Non-consensual Nudity Exchange
- Sharing Confidential Information Belonging to Others
- Interference in Election Processes
- Impersonating Accounts of Others
- False or Fabricated Media
- Infringement of Copyrights or Trademarks
Ain’t no damn way… pic.twitter.com/OHubinpSui
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 16, 2022
Journalist Talks About Twitter Suspension
Twitter has become the primary interaction channel for journalists and the media, so the simultaneous suspension of several journalist accounts seems almost bizarre to them.
Rupar asserts that he has “no notion” which regulations he violated to cause this. The editor of Vox stated on Substack, “I’ve heard nothing from Twitter. Wednesday morning, I did publish a newsletter with an essay by Noah Berlatsky on Elon Musk’s reactionary populism.
I also tweeted late last night that Musk’s tweet from yesterday appeared to breach Twitter’s rules against sharing footage of someone without their knowledge. However, it is difficult to understand how either of these might have violated Twitter’s regulations.”
As the journalist pointed out, losing the key base for future subscribers is difficult. “I have spent more than five years methodically chronicling major developments in US politics on Twitter with video, so losing that archive instantly and for no apparent reason is disappointing.
And as an independent journalist who relies on Twitter for new newsletter subscribers, losing a substantial portion of my audience hurts.
Rupar stated that he did reference Elonjet in a tweet stating that the Facebook page was still functioning. He added, “Perhaps that did it, but I still don’t know what policy that might have violated.”
What We Know About Elonjet
Elonjet was a Twitter account administered by a college student called Jack Sweeney. It gave location information for Musk’s private jet.
The CEO of Twitter declared on Twitter that he will pursue legal action against Sweeney after publishing a Los Angeles incident involving his two-year-old child.
“Last night, a crazed stalker (thinking it was me) followed a car transporting Lil X in Los Angeles and then climbed over the hood,” he tweeted.
“Legal action is being initiated against Sweeney and the groups that supported my family’s destruction.”
What Elon Musk Said About the Ban
Musk responded to a tweet about the restrictions by stating, “Criticizing me all day long is acceptable, but doing my real-time location and endangering my family is not.” Twitter may not have specified what went wrong.
In a second post, he asked his Twitter followers to vote on whether he should “unsuspend accounts that doxxed my specific location in real-time.”