It increasingly looks like Elon Musk is suspending Twitter users based on personal grudges instead of concrete principles. The latest victim: Insider columnist Linette Lopez, who has spent years aggressively covering Musk’s businesses, including documenting alleged safety lapses at Tesla.
In 2018, Musk disputed Lopez’s reporting, claiming that she had written “several false articles” and suggesting, with scant evidence‚ that she had bribed a former Tesla employee for information and was secretly “serving as an inside trading source for one of Tesla’s biggest short-sellers.”
“Have you ever heard of anything more ridiculous,” she said on Friday of the allegations, laughing.
Lopez told The Daily Beast she received no explanation for her suspension, nor information about how long the ban will last. She said she hadn’t tweeted details about the location of Musk’s private jet—his stated rationale for other suspensions—but instead had been cataloging what she considered his hypocrisy over doxxing and targeting private citizens.
“I was just trying to highlight the fact that he talks about bullying and doxxing and all this stuff…And he’s a pro at it,” she said. “He harassed me back in 2018, he talked shit about me in the court of law, he sued my source. Like, I’ve been through the ringer with this guy. Nothing he does surprises me.”
Musk banned multiple prominent accounts over the past week, starting with the @Elonjet plane tracker. He then moved onto journalists who had covered the controversy, including New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, a former target of his ire.
In 2018, while working at BuzzFeed, Mac published emails from Musk in which the billionaire baselessly accused a British man working to rescue Thai children stuck in a cave of being a “child rapist.” Musk claimed the emails were off the record, but Mac never agreed to those terms.
Musk did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.