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Elon Musk disables Twitter Spaces voice chats amid surveillance scandal.

Published: 2022-12-16

While Elon Musk campaigned in favor of preserving freedom of speech at all costs during the preparation of the deal to buy the social network Twitter, this month's chain of events put him in an unfavorable light from the point of view of censorship. The billionaire first became concerned that the data on his movements on a private jet are published almost in real time, then blocked the accounts of objectionable media representatives on Twitter, and completed everything by turning off the Twitter Spaces voice chat service.

It all started with the blocking of the account of one of the students on Twitter, who used publicly available data on the movements of Elon Musk's private jet to broadcast them through this social network using a bot. Twitter representatives told the owner of the blocked account that his activities violated the new rules for protecting personal data. Jack Sweeney, who owns the ElonJet account, admitted in an interview with CNBC that Musk promised to the last minute not to block this account, but at some stage offered the owner $5,000 as compensation for blocking.

Later, the media reported on the blocking of Twitter accounts of several journalists from major publications who specialized in publishing materials about the movements of Elon Musk and the activities of the companies he leads. According to one report, the block was introduced for seven days, but account holders received reports of a permanent block. “It’s absolutely normal to criticize me all day, but you can’t leak information about my location in real time and endanger my family,” Elon Musk shared his thoughts.

Several of the blocked journalists were later able to connect to the voice chat on Twitter Spaces, and later Elon Musk himself joined them, gathering up to 40,000 listeners at the peak. The head of Twitter once again stated that any user who gives out information about the geographic location of a person in real time will be blocked. Journalists tried to argue that they published such data with a delay, but Musk did not listen to them and switched off. The night before, he said that Twitter was fixing an old software bug in Twitter Spaces and "everything will work tomorrow."