Twitter-Suspended CNN Journo Warns Of ‘Chilling Effect’

News & Politics

CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan was one of the journalists suspended by Twitter on Thursday for spreading information that Twitter considers to be reach the threshold of doxing. On Friday, he traveled over to Amanpour and Company which airs domestically on PBS and internationally on CNN International to warn of the “chilling effect” this may have on other journalists who cover Elon Musk.

With no sense of irony, guest host Paula Newton wondered if Musk is so sensitive, would he ban President Biden or French President Emmanuel Macron next, “Yeah. I mean, the point is — Donie, it’s you today. Is it the president tomorrow? Is Biden going to say something? Is Macron going to say something to criticize him? I mean, there is a lot at stake here.”

O’Sullivan at least managed to acknowledge, “Twitter under its old management already kicked off a president of the United States, although in very, very — a different circumstances after, of course, the attack on the U.S. Capitol.”

Getting back to current controversies, O’Sullivan declared, “Twitter is a private company. It can do whatever it wants. Elon Musk can do whatever he wants. Again, there is a hypocrisy there when he claims that he wants his platform to be all about free speech.”

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There’s isn’t a contradiction between believing that you should be able to say men can’t get pregnant without having to worry about the hate speech police and not allowing users to post information gathered by evading the Federal Aviation Authority’s privacy program.

Still, O’Sullivan blurred this distinction as he claimed he isn’t worried about himself, but, “I would be very concern though about the precedent this might set and the chilling effect that this might have, especially on independent and freelance journalists, especially outside of the U.S., who do have to rely on Twitter to get their work out there, and to get work.”

Additionally, O’Sullivan warned of, “the chilling effect that this might have on journalists who are holding Musk to account at his other companies, including Tesla and SpaceX.”

Again, those who were suspended got in trouble for posting or linking to location information on Musk’s jet, not his business policies or political beliefs, not that Newton cared, “Donie, I’m going to put you on the spot. I only have 30 seconds left. But, I mean, do you think we’re looking at a Twitter 2.0? Do you think it could actually emerge something else out of this or could disintegrate altogether?”

Still trying to make mountains out of molehills, O’Sullivan repeated the company line, “You saw the CNN statement there. I think it’s given newsrooms pause for us to all ask ourselves, you know, do we really want to be on this platform? Are there other ways to, you know, get our news out there through social media? So, I do think this is a big moment when it comes to journalism and this critical platform.”

Meanwhile, back on the Twitter that actually exists in the real world, Aaron Rupar is already back and tweeting again.

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Here is a transcript for the December 16 show:

PBS Amanpour and Company

12/16/2022

11:16 PM ET

PAULA NEWTON: Yeah. I mean, the point is — Donie, it’s you today. Is it the president tomorrow? Is Biden going to say something? Is Macron going to say something to criticize him? I mean, there is a lot at stake here.

DONIE O’SULLIVAN: Yeah. Well, look. I mean, Twitter under its old management already kicked off a president of the United States, although in very, very — a different circumstances after, of course, the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Twitter is a private company. It can do whatever it wants. Elon Musk can do whatever he wants. Again, there is a hypocrisy there when he claims that he wants his platform to be all about free speech.

Look, I mean, I think for somebody, you know, a lot of reporters that got suspended last night are from major U.S. media outlets like CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post. I would be less concerned about the likes of myself, I mean, I have a platform. I’m here talking to you. I can use other social media platforms.

I would be very concern though about the precedent this might set and the chilling effect that this might have, especially on independent and freelance journalists, especially outside of the U.S., who do have to rely on Twitter to get their work out there, and to get work.

And also, the chilling effect that this might have on journalists who are holding Musk to account at his other companies, including Tesla and SpaceX.

NEWTON: Donie, I’m going to put you on the spot. I only have 30 seconds left. But, I mean, do you think we’re looking at a Twitter 2.0? Do you think it could actually emerge something else out of this or could disintegrate altogether?

O’SULLIVAN: You know, never make predictions with Elon Musk, I think is the wisest thing. But I do think this has given us all pause. You saw the CNN statement there. I think it’s given newsrooms pause for us to all ask ourselves, you know, do we really want to be on this platform? Are there other ways to, you know, get our news out there through social media? So, I do think this is a big moment when it comes to journalism and this critical platform.

NEWTON: Yeah, absolutely more to come in all of that. And, Donie, we really appreciate you following it. And we’ll wait to see if you are reinstated on Twitter and if you decide to use it when you are. Donie O’Sullivan for us. Thanks so much.

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