Selective Censorship? Twitter Account Tracking Musk’s Private Jet Is Permanently Suspended

While Elon Musk’s tenure grows as the CEO of Twitter, his commitment to free speech appears to be wobbling and waning with each passing day.

Musk completed the deal on Oct. 27 to buy Twitter for $44 billion and promised to restore free speech to the platform.

“My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk,” Musk tweeted on Nov. 6, referring to @ElonJet, the Twitter account tracking his flights.

Then Musk changed his mind. This week he banned both the @ElonJet Twitter account and Jack Sweeney, the University of Central Florida student who created it and published Musk’s flight information on social media.

Now Musk says he’s taking legal action against Sweeney.

Twitter has subsequently updated its private information and media policy to prohibit sharing live location information from other flight tracker accounts. When @ElonJet was banned, this policy was not yet public, and there was a multiple-hour delay between the banning of @ElonJet and other flight tracker accounts, Techcrunch reported.

Musk said that sharing a person’s real-time location was a “physical safety violation.”

ElonJet used publicly available data to track the whereabouts of Musk’s private jet and had 500,000 followers. Sweeney operated similar bots that tracked private jet activity of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Musk’s brother, Kimbal Musk, Drake, Jeff Bezos, and Taylor Swift. All those tracking accounts have been suspended.

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“I NEVER want to hear another word about free speech from Elon again,” Democratic Digital Strategist Jack Cocchiarella tweeted.

On Wednesday night, Musk said that a “crazy stalker” had followed the car his 2-year-old son, X, was riding in on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. “Last night, car carrying lil X in LA was followed by crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood,” Musk tweeted. “Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family.”
Musk later posted a video of an alleged perpetrator wearing a black hoodie and a half-cover ski mask, as well as his license plate. He asked his 120 million+ followers if they recognized the person or car.

Sweeney said he originally started tracking Musk’s plane because he was a fan of the billionaire. Before banning Sweeney, Musk offered him $5,000 to delete the account, Gizmodo reported. Sweeney’s tracker is still available on Facebook and Instagram, and uses information from ADS-B exchange, a hobbyist site that gathers public transponder data from different aircraft.

Sweeney told The New York Times on Wednesday that he disagreed with Musk about the safety risks posed by his tracker. “If someone wanted to do something, they could do it without me,” Sweeney said.


Images: Elon Musk, Tesla 2017 Annual Shareholder Meeting, June 6, 2017, Steve Jurvetson,
Jack Sweeney, creator of the banned @ElonJet Twitter account that tracked Elon Musk’s private jet, screenshot from NewsNation, /
Twitter caged, mkhmarketing,

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