On Wednesday morning, Jack Sweeney – a college student from Florida – saw his Twitter account @ElonJet taken down after racking up more than 500K followers in no time. This page monitored Elon Musk’s airplanes through publicly accessible flight data.
On Wednesday Sweeney tweeted, “Well it appears @ElonJet is suspended”. He asked users to follow him on other platforms.
On Wednesday, Sweeney announced via Twitter that his account for monitoring employee aircraft at Musk’s SpaceX business was suspended. Shortly after, he also revealed that even his personal profile had been blocked.
Before his account was deleted, Sweeney wrote, “This is coordinated and Elon is well aware I’m sure.”
In one of his tweets on Wednesday, Elon Musk said the real-time monitoring and posting of another person’s locations is a complete violation of Twitter’s doxxing policy. He further added, “delayed posting of locations is ok.”
Sweeney stated, “Even now, my dream car is definitely a Tesla.”
After purchasing Twitter for $44 billion in October, Musk has been a visible proponent of free speech on the site. In early November he declared that he is such an ardent defender of freedom of expression that even a plane tracking account, which poses a direct danger to personal safety, would not be barred from his platform.
In the meanwhile, Twitter staff have been presented with varying orders. On Dec 10, Sweeney shared a sequence of tweets alleging his account had been ‘shadow banned’, an act where reach is deliberately limited.
He informed us that an employee had shared a screenshot with him, revealing that the VP of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council was asked to place powerful visibility filters on @ElonJet. Unfortunately, this council disbanded on Monday; however, Sweeney tweeted out on 12th December stating it seemed as though @ElonJet no longer remained hidden or blocked in any way.
To Sweeney’s dismay, his account was deactivated on Wednesday even though Musk had guaranteed him he wouldn’t do so. Furthermore, Elon offered a reward of $5,000 to take down the page due to its possible hazard. Despite that, it appears that this did not stop Musk from disabling the Twitter handle at last.