The Public Relations Society of America is questioning Twitter’s commitment to free speech, after the social media platform suspended high-profile reporters from The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post, among other publications, on Thursday evening. 

“It’s Twitter’s prerogative who they allow to use their platform, but their commitment to free speech is really being tested today,” the PRSA tweeted on Friday afternoon. “Journalists, even those critical of people in positions of power, should not be penalized for sharing accurate reporting.”

Twitter owner Elon Musk tweeted that particular accounts were suspended because they posted his “exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service.” It followed the suspension of the @ElonJet account, which tracked the movements of Musk’s private plane using publicly available information. 

Journalism organizations, publications and PR pros are also condemning Twitter’s move.

The Washington Post

Statement from @washingtonpost Executive Editor Sally Buzbee

— Washington Post PR (@WashPostPR) December 16, 2022


Statement on tonight’s suspension of CNN’s @donie O’Sullivan:

— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) December 16, 2022

The New York Times

Just got a @nytimes statement on Twitter’s sudden suspension of Ryan Mac and other tech reporters:

— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) December 16, 2022

Society of Professional Journalists

“SPJ is concerned that @Twitter has suspended the accounts of several high-profile journalists known to cover the platform and its owner @elonmusk,” SPJ National President @clairemariereg1 said. (1/3)

— Society of Professional Journalists (@spj_tweets) December 16, 2022

Committee to Protect Journalists

CPJ calls for Twitter to restore accounts of suspended journalists, commit to media freedom

— Committee to Protect Journalists (@pressfreedom) December 16, 2022

Bospar principal Curtis Sparrer noted on LinkedIn that now is the time to stand up for journalists. He urged people to invest in journalism, both local and national.

Other PR pros also discussed what Twitter’s move means to free speech.

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