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14 Dec, 2022 20:56

Twitter suspends account tracking Musk’s flights

The company’s owner earlier pledged to keep @ElonJet, which the billionaire called a “personal safety risk,” online
Twitter suspends account tracking Musk’s flights

Twitter has suspended the @ElonJet account, which tracked the private flights of the platform’s billionaire owner, Elon Musk. When he purchased Twitter in October, Musk said he would keep the account active because of his "commitment to free speech.”

Florida student Jack Sweeney, who ran the account, confirmed via his personal Twitter page that @ElonJet had been suspended. Sweeney said that he received a message from Twitter telling him that the account violated the platform’s terms of service, and would therefore be permanently suspended.

While it was active, a pinned tweet on the Elonjet account read: "This account has every right to post jet whereabouts, ADS-B data is public, every aircraft in the world is required to have a transponder, even Air Force One. Twitter policy states data found on other sites is allowed to be shared here as well."

Shortly afterwards, Sweeney’s own account was also suspended. He ran several accounts tracking the private flights of some of the world’s wealthiest men, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

All of these accounts had been suspended as of Wednesday evening.

Within two weeks of purchasing Twitter for $44 billion in late October, Musk said that his “commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.”

It is unclear whether Musk was involved in suspending Sweeney’s accounts. Sweeney previously claimed that Musk offered him $5,000 to delete the Elonjet account in 2021, reportedly telling the then-teen “I don’t like the idea of being shot by a nutcase.”