Twitter permanently removed an account that tracked the whereabouts of Elon Musk’s private jet. This comes after the social media company’s owner declared last month that the account would stay active as part of his “commitment to free speech.”
The owner of the account, Jack Sweeney, announced the information on his account, which Twitter later suspended following a recent rule prohibiting the tweeting of people’s current locations.
Sweeney tweeted a screenshot of the notification informing him that @ElonJet had been suspended for violating Twitter’s policies before his personal account was blocked.
Jack Sweeney, who also has other Twitter accounts that tracked the private jets of several public figures, including Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump, and celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift, has been running the account since 2020.
Twitter changed its rules late afternoon to prevent accounts from posting about someone else’s present location. Twitter posted a thread to clarify the changes further on its @TwitterSafety account.
According to Twitter, it’ll take down tweets that share real-time location data and suspend any accounts that do so. You may share your present location and another person’s “historical” location, which the business currently describes as “not same-day.”
Other accounts operated by Sweeney, including the private planes operated by Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and several Russian oligarchs, were active on Twitter for hours after the @elonjet was blocked.
However, Twitter banned them later on Wednesday, including Sweeney’s personal account.
He also has accounts on competitor social media sites like Instagram and Facebook that track Musk’s jet.
The last update from the account before it was suspended showed Musk’s plane taking off on Monday from Oakland, California, and arriving in Los Angeles 48 minutes later.
Musk Allegedly Accused and Threatened Sweeney
Musk offered the student $5,000 in January over DM to deactivate the account as it posed a “security risk.” Musk’s offer was rejected, but Sweeney stated that he would take down @ElonJet in exchange for an internship at one of his firms and $50,000.
Musk tweeted to shut this down, following some back and forth. Musk also claimed that a “crazy stalker” had attacked a car carrying his young kid in Los Angeles, thinking it was him.
In addition, he threatened legal action against “organizations who advocated harm to my family” and Jack Sweeney, who founded the @elonjet flight-tracking account. It’s yet to be seen what legal course of action Musk could take.
Sweeney also stated that Musk’s Twitter account used a filtering mechanism to hide his posts.
Sweeney stated that he got an email from an unknown person claiming to be a Twitter employee, which included a screenshot of a company’s internal message from Twitter’s new head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin, requesting that staff “apple heavy VF to @elonjet immediately.”
Musk has previously raised concern about the impact of Jack Sweeney’s jet-tracking account, @elonjet, on his personal safety, but he stated in November that he wouldn’t deactivate the account.
Sweeney claimed that the short-lived ban resulted from hatred over those leaks.
Other Accounts Banned
Sweeney’s account, however, wasn’t the only one suspended. Similar accounts appeared to be suspended as well, including one that followed aircraft related to Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.
Any account that doxxes someone’s current location will be suspended since it violates their physical safety. Musk explained in a later tweet that this includes sharing links to sites with real-time location information.