Journalists reinstated to Twitter must delete tweets and still don’t have access to Twitter Spaces

After reinstating their accounts on Saturday, tech journalists caught up in the “Thursday Night Massacre” discovered that their restored Twitter privileges were incomplete. Many were being asked to delete tweets, with the notable exception of Mashable’s Matt Binder, and they seemed to have no access to Twitter Spaces.

As of this writing, at least eight of the accounts, including Binder’s, have been reinstated after a Twitter poll tweeted by Musk overwhelmingly supported removing the ban. However, many of the journalists, including Donie O’Sullivan Y drew harwell, they were required to delete tweets. As of Saturday, some were still refusing to do so, meaning they still couldn’t fully unlock their accounts and tweet again.

The requirement that offending tweets be removed is not new, but the loss of access to Spaces appears to be a new type of lingering effect caused by a suspension.

The bizarre chain of events surrounding the discovery of the Spaces flaw appears to have been the cause of the feature’s temporary shutdown in the first place.

On December 15, Musk, without warning, banned several high-profile journalists for blatantly violating Twitter’s doxing policy. On December 16, BuzzFeed News reporter Katie Notopoulos went live on Twitter Spaces to discuss the bans and was joined by Drew Harwell of the Washington Post and Binder, two of the suspended reporters. Despite not being able to post new tweets or have their old tweets visible, both were able to access Spaces due to an apparent glitch. After the discussion gathered thousands of listeners, Musk joined in, stating that anyone who doxes will be banned. After journalists from Spaces responded to Musk, stating that they had not released any real-time flight data, as he alleged, the billionaire dropped the call. According to Notopoulos in a tweetshortly after Musk fled the call, Twitter Spaces were removed from the entire platform to fix what Musk claimed was a “legacy bug.”

Spaces is now back. It seems that the bug that was fixed was intended to make sure that suspended accounts couldn’t access Spaces. But according to Binder on Twitter, even though his account is not suspended, he can’t access the feature right now.

Mass layoffs and resignations seem to have made the platform crash problem worse. Twitter’s SMS-based 2-factor authentication was broken for a while after Musk claimed he was getting rid of “bloatware” and the platform’s automated copyright system recently allowed full length movies to be posted on Twitter. So, in light of all the technical issues, recently suspended journalists who need access to Spaces probably shouldn’t expect speedy tech support.

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