Musk’s Twitter scoop poses threat to media freedom

  • 31 Oct 2022

Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter raises concerns about implications for journalists on the platform.

This month, Elon Musk completed his purchase of Twitter in a deal costing over £38bn. The deal has raised questions about the future of the platform, and its ability to protect users from online abuse and misinformation, while defending media freedom under its new leadership.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has questioned how Musk will ensure press freedom is protected.

In a tweet to Musk, they said:

“A beautiful thing about Twitter is how it empowers citizen journalism – people are able to disseminate news without an establishment bias. How will you protect press freedom @elonmusk?”

The NUJ has previously highlighted concerns that the purchase and ownership structure may have on the social and political use of the platform.  Musk has been vocal on how Twitter should be used, stating he would reverse the decision to ban former US president Donald Trump, describing the move as “a morally bad decision.”

He has since tweeted about the formation of a “content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints” before any “major content decisions or account reinstatements.”

In April, Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:

“Twitter is an extension of journalists’ offices. This is where journalists promote their work, express ideas or find sources of information. This space must be duly moderated, while respecting freedom of speech.

“It is a fine balance that any Twitter owner must pay attention to. We are concerned that Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter are going the wrong direction by exacerbating opportunities to attack journalists and threatening the anonymity of users.”

Return to listing