Twitter bans, reinstates, then suspends account that tracked Elon Musk's private plane
Musk said any account posting real-time location of anyone would be suspended
A Twitter account that tracked the movements of Elon Musk’s private jet was suspended early Wednesday, then briefly reinstated before being suspended one again later in the day.
Jack Sweeney, a University of Central Florida student who operated @ElonJet, confirmed the initial suspension, posting a screenshot that shows that the account had been "permanently suspended" after "careful review."
"Your account is permanently in read-only mode, which means you can't Tweet, Retweet, or Like content. You won't be able to create new accounts," it says.
Then, hours later, Musk brought back the jet-tracking account after imposing new conditions on all of Twitter's users — no more sharing of anyone's current location.
"Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info," Musk tweeted. "Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok."
"Doxxing" general refers to disclosing publicly someone's identity, address, or other personal details.
Musk followed up that tweet, saying his son, "lil X," was "followed by crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood."
"Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family," he said.
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Tweets from the widely followed @elonjet account were no longer viewable for much of Wednesday. The account had more than 526,000 followers a day earlier.
The account appeared to be briefly reinstated Wednesday evening but was once again suspended for unknown reasons.
The account’s owner is Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old college sophomore and programmer who started the flight-tracking account. In an interview with The Associated Press, Sweeney accused Musk of hypocrisy.
"He said this is free speech and he's doing the opposite," Sweeney said.
The suspension came just weeks after Musk wrote that he had not banned the @ElonJet account due to his "commitment to free speech."
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Started in 2020 when Sweeney was a teenager, the account automatically posted the Gulfstream jet's flights with a map and an estimate of the amount of jet fuel and carbon emissions it expended.
He logged into Twitter and saw a notice that the account was permanently suspended for breaking Twitter's rules. But the note didn't explain how it broke the rules.
Sweeney said he immediately filed an online form to appeal the suspension. Later, his personal account was also suspended, with a message saying it violated Twitter's rules "against platform manipulation and spam."
And then hours later, the flight-tracking account was back again. Sweeney said his appeal was apparently successful. Musk and Twitter's policy team then sought to publicly explain that Twitter now has new rules.
The University of Central Florida student said Musk last year sent him a private message offering $5,000 to take the jet-tracking account down, citing security concerns. Musk later stopped communicating to Sweeney, who never deleted the account.
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FOX Business has reached out to Twitter for comment.