NBC News pulled tech journalist Ben Collins from covering Twitter and Elon Musk after he bashed the Chief Twit in tweets deemed not ‘editorially appropriate.’
Sources familiar with the matter told DailyMail.com that NBC heads made the decision to pull Collins earlier this month after reviewing his jabs at Musk on Twitter.
While the source said the Collins was free to make pointed criticisms at Musk, they said some of his tweets were inappropriate given he covers the billionaire and his social media company.
One of the problematic tweets, the source said, came on October 30 when Quartz reporter Scott Nover remarked that Musk could stand to lose a lot of money through his Twitter takeover.
Collins replied: ‘Unless he’s trying to tank this place on purpose, I’ve never seen somebody more out of their depth in my life. The dog has caught the car and is now demanding the car pay for gas.’
The source added that the suspension against Collins is still ongoing.
Following reports of his suspension on Friday, Collins posted a singular heart emoji on Twitter.
Previously, the tech reporter had posted the list of nine journalists booted from Twitter for posting links to an account which tracks the movements of his private jet.
NBC’s Ben Collins (pictured) was pulled from covering Twitter and Elon Musk after mocking the billionaire in tweets that were not ‘editorially appropriate’
A source familiar with the suspension, which is still ongoing, said once such tweet involved Collins comparing Musk to a dog that caught a car
Following news reports of his suspension, Collins posted a single heart emoji. Despite the suspension, Collins’ Twitter account is filled with reports on the latest on Musk
While Collins was pulled from covering Twitter on NBC and MSNBC, he continues to post about the latest developments on his account.
Collins has repeatedly criticized Musk ever since the billionaire announced his interest in purchasing the social media platform in April.
His last on-air appearance came on December 2 on MSNBC, Fox News reports.
It was the same day he bashed journalist Matt Taibbi for working with Musk and fellow reporters Michael Shellenberger and Bari Weiss to release the so-called Twitter Files, detailing the company’s censorship history.
‘Imagine throwing it all away to do PR work for the richest person in the world. Humiliating s**t,’ he said of the reporters’ work.
Collins suspension comes as Musk mulls whether or not to reinstate the accounts of the journalists banned for allegedly posting ‘assassination coordinates’ against him.
Journalists Ryan Mac of the New York Times, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Matt Binder of Mashable, Micah Lee of The Intercept, Steven Herman of VOA, along with Aaron Rupar, Tony Webster, and Keith Olbermann, all found their Twitter accounts suspended on Thursday.
Ella Irwin, Twitter’s new head of trust and safety, told Reuters that the accounts were manually reviewed and that it violated its latest policy against doxxing.
The journalists had posted links to a college student’s account that has been tracking the real-time location of Musk’s jet since 2020 using publicly available information.
Musk had put out a poll asking users if the accounts should be reinstated now, tomorrow, seven days from now or longer.
But after 43 percent voted for them to be immediately reinstated, the Chief Twit put out a new poll with only two options: now or in seven day.
The Chief Twit is facing backlash over suspending nine journalist who linked an account tracking his private jet. The account uses information already available to the public, and Musk had previously vowed not to go after it
Journalists Keith Olberman (left) and Aaron Rupar (right) were among numerous suspended from Twitter on Thursday
Tony Webster (left), an independent journalist, was banned from Twitter on Thursday, as was Matt Binder (right), a reporter for Mashable
Michah Lee (left), a technology reporter at The Intercept, and Steve Herman (right), a national correspondent for VOA, were banned from Twitter Thursday
Following the suspensions, CNN posted a statement saying it had asked Twitter to explain and would ‘reevaluate our relationship based on that response.’
Musk took to Twitter Thursday night to accuse the suspended journalists of doxxing him – the act of revealing identifying personal information online.
‘They posted my exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service,’ he wrote.
‘Same doxxing rules apply to “journalists” as to everyone else,’ he added, and noted that the suspension would last seven days.
Musk even hopped on a call with a group of journalists to explain his doxxing policy.
‘As I’m sure everyone who’s been doxxed would agree, showing real time information about somebody’s location is inappropriate, and I think everyone on this call would not like that to be done to them, and there’s not gonna be any distinction in future between journalists – so called journalists – and regular people,’ he said on the call.
‘Everyone’s gonna be treated the same. You’re not special cause you’re a journalist. your a citizen. So, no special treatment.
‘You dox, you get suspended, end of story. and no ban-evasion, or trying to be clever about, like ‘Oh I posted a link to the real time information,’ is obviously simply trying to evade the meaning, that is no different from actually showing real time information.’
After facing criticism for his decision, Musk put out a poll asking users to weigh in on the fate of the journalist’s accounts. The vote to immediately reinstate them won
However, Musk decided to immediately redo poll, now with only two options
CNN condemned the Chief Twit’s decision and appeared to suggest that the media outlet could pull out of Twitter based on the company’s response
Musk also got into a row with US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who took to Twitter Thursday night to say she sympathized with Musk’s desire to prevent himself from being doxed — but still branded his ban on nine journalists ‘proto-fascism.’
‘As someone who has been subject to real + dangerous plots, I do get it. I didn’t have security and have experienced many scary incidents,’ she wrote in one tweet. ‘In fact, many of the right-wing outlets you now elevate published photos of my home, car, etc. At a certain point you gotta disconnect.’
‘You’re a public figure. An extremely controversial and powerful one. I get feeling unsafe, but descending into abuse of power + erratically banning journalists only increases the intensity around you.’
‘Take a beat and lay off the proto-fascism. Maybe try putting down your phone,’ she followed up.
Musk (left) got into an argument with US Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, who chastised his decision to pull the journalists’ account, comparing it to ‘proto-fascism’
Musk defended his decision, calling the journalists tweets ‘assassination coordinates’
Musk’s crusade against doxxing and @ElonJet was ignited this week after he claimed a stalker jumped on the hood of a car carrying his son.
Explaining the ordeal, Musk said: ‘Last night, car carrying lil X in LA was followed by crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood.’
‘Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family,’ he added, referring to @ElonJet creator Jack Sweeney.
It is unclear how Musk connected @ElonJet to the stalking incident, which did not appear to involve his private plane in any way.
Billionaire Elon Musk posted a clip showing the identity of the ‘crazy stalker’ who followed the car that his son X was traveling in. The Twitter CEO said that the man, who is seen wearing a black mask and hood, blocked the car’s path before jumping on the hood. Musk believes that the stalker thought Elon himself was traveling in the car at the time
Musk elaborated on the rationale for the decision to ban @ElonJet, saying that accounts which published where people were located in ‘real-time’ were a ‘physical safety violation.’
‘Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation.’
‘This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info. Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok.’
Sweeney’s jet account was suspended Wednesday morning. He tweeted at Musk asking how long of a delay was necessary for there to be no safety response, and then by Wednesday evening the account – and his personal account – were suspended again.