Twitter suspends account that monitored Elon Musk’s jet

Twitter has suspended the account of a college student who was tracking the whereabouts of Elon Musk’s private jet, although the social media platform’s chief executive previously said it would not suspend the account.

Within hours Wednesday afternoon, Twitter restored the account, saying it had adopted new rules to prevent accounts from tracking anyone in real time. But then, without explanation, Twitter again suspended the account that goes by @ElonJet.

The saga took another twist Wednesday afternoon when the company also suspended the student’s personal Twitter account, according to the user’s profile.

Neither Twitter nor @ElonJet account owner Jack Sweeney immediately responded to requests for comment.

Musk commented in a tweet Wednesday afternoon that the @Elonjet account made it easy for people to stalk his family.

“Posting someone else’s location in real time is against the doxxing policy, but delayed posting of locations is fine,” Musk wrote in his tweet. He said Twitter will update its rules to reflect this new policy, but did not elaborate on what that would look like.

An official Twitter Safety account said its updated policy was meant to address “an increased risk of physical harm” for sharing a person’s location.

“Starting now, we will remove tweets that share this information, and accounts dedicated to sharing someone else’s live location will be suspended,” Twitter said.

Users can still share their own live location on Twitter, and accounts dedicated to sharing historical or non-same-day locations are also allowed under the new policy. according to the social media company.

Sweeney, a student at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, he tweeted Wednesday morning from his personal account, “well looks like @ElonJet is suspended.” Sweeney too shared a screenshot of a warning saying the ban was permanent.

The account was shut down, reactivated and then suspended again, despite Musk’s comments in a tweet last month that he would not interfere with it because of his anti-censorship stance.

“My commitment to freedom of expression even extends to not banning the account after my flight, even though this is a direct risk to personal safety,” he added. Musk said in November. 6 tweet. A note below the tweet provided readers with context that ElonJet’s account is “currently banned” and that it tracked the jet using publicly available data.

Twitter went beyond shutting down the @Elonjet account Wednesday afternoon and suspended Sweeney’s personal account. @JxckSweeney. A similar note said it violated Twitter’s rules.

According to Tweet published Wednesday by a New York Times reporterSweeney said he had a total of about 30 accounts terminated, and his own personal account was suspended, according to Twitter, for violating the platform’s rules against “platform manipulation and spamming.” .

In one interview with the Wall Street Journal published Wednesday, Sweeney said he was unclear why the account was banned and was taken by surprise because of Musk’s previous comments about free speech. Sweeney called it “bad publicity for Musk” and said people “will say [Musk is] a hypocrite.”

“It just goes to show that they can play the rules any way they want,” Sweeney told the Journal.

Sunday, Sweeney he tweeted on his personal account that an anonymous Twitter employee informed him that Twitter was limiting the visibility of his account. But Monday, Sweeney he tweeted that the restrictions seemed to have been lifted.

Sweeney told the New York Times in February who created an algorithm and bot using publicly available data from Musk’s plane’s transponders, including the plane’s altitude, latitude and longitude, and had been tracking Musk’s jet since June 2020.

Sweeney also told the paper that Musk sent her a private message in November 2021 asking her to deactivate the account for security reasons, even offering her $5,000 to do so. Sweeney said he made a counteroffer to raise the price to $50,000 or a Tesla, then asked for a practice. The conversation eventually went dark Jan. 23, he said.

Sweeney, who has also used public data to track the movements of musician Drake, businessman Mark Cuban, Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. he tweeted on Wednesday morning that he would continue to monitor Musk’s travels on other platforms, included Instagram, Facebook and Mastodon.

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