After Elon Musk entered a group chat with journalists who had been barred from the network, Twitter appears to have temporarily removed its Spaces group audio feature.
The most recent controversy occurs after Twitter suspended a number of well-known journalists who had covered a previous report about the Elon Jet Twitter account, which was shut down for tracking Elon Musk’s private jet using data that was readily available to the public.
It turns out that Twitter appears to have a bug that permits users who have been banned to still participate in Twitter Spaces and communicate with other users, and some of those who had been banned did exactly that.
Several journalists whose Twitter accounts had been suspended, including the Washington Post’s Drew Harwell and Mashable’s Matt Binder, as well as Jack Sweeney, the creator of the Elon Jet Twitter account, who had his own personal account suspended, joined BuzzFeed reporter Katie Notopoulos in a group chat yesterday evening.
Elon Musk joined the discussion and continued to be critical of both individuals who gave the real-time location information of his private jet and those who reported on it. The exchange is accessible online in a number of locations, including on YouTube here:
Musk abruptly exited the interview after being challenged by reporters about some of his inaccuracies, and shortly after that the Spaces feature as a whole started acting up.
In light of the numerous internal tests TechCrunch has conducted, it is not now feasible to initiate a new Spaces conversation or join an existing one. Musk responded to a Twitter user who inquired about the status of Spaces by saying that it was “fixing a legacy bug” and that it should resume operation tomorrow.
Whether Spaces is back tomorrow or not, the recent grand pronouncements made by Twitter about Twitter 2.0 and its “continuing dedication to the public conversation” do not appear to be as sincere in light of what has happened over the last day.