SAN FRANCISCO: Despite the billionaire’s claims of free expression, a Twitter account that followed the movements of Elon Musk’s private plane was shut down on Wednesday.
Jack Sweeney, the developer, tweeted from his own @JxckSweeney account, “Well it looks @ElonJet is suspended.”
After Twitter modified its rules to generally forbid tweets from disclosing someone’s location in real-time, the account temporarily went up later that day.
“Yes, I’m back!” read a tweet sent out by @ElonJet, which also included a link to flight monitoring accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Mastodon “just in case.”
Shortly after, attempts to access @ElonJet and Sweeney’s personal Twitter accounts were met with notifications that both were suspended.
Musk wrote on Instagram that his plane “flew last night from LA to Austin after my account was banned on Twitter.”
Musk wrote in a tweet that “any account doing real-time location details of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation.”
Links to websites that provide real-time location data are included below.
Doxxing is the practice of publishing personal information online, such as a home address or phone number, usually with the intention of abusing a specific person.
The modified policy permits posts about being present at a public event like a concert as well as location-sharing tweets that are “not same-day.”
Sweeney garnered notice with his Twitter account that records the movements of the billionaire’s aircraft and even turned down Elon Musk’s $5,000 request to shut down @ElonJet, which has hundreds of thousands of followers.
As part of his dedication to free expression on the site, Musk had publicly said that he would not touch the account after purchasing Twitter in a $44 billion purchase.
Real-time views of aviation traffic are provided by a number of Twitter accounts and websites that track flights, however, this exposure sometimes results in complaints and even equipment confiscation.
ADS-B technology, which broadcasts aircraft locations using signals that relatively basic equipment may pick up, is a requirement under US regulations for flights in certain zones.
Sweeney, who requested public records from the US government to verify Musk’s ownership of his jet, said it can take some detective work to determine or authenticate who a plane truly belongs to.
The account was suspended a day after Jack Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter and its former CEO, wrote an online article in defense of the company’s employees, whom Musk had lambasted for judgments involving content moderation.
According to Dorsey, “I’m a firm believer that anything generated by someone for the internet should be forever unless the original creator chooses to erase it.
“It needs to be reachable and accessible at all times. Suspensions and content removal ought to be impossible.”