Twitter suspends account tracking private jets belonging to Elon Musk and others


Twitter has suspended accounts tracking the locations of private jets, including one that tracked CEO Elon Musk’s jet.

Responding to a user on Wednesday, Musk said the accounts violated Twitter’s “doxxing” rules, meaning they revealed non-public personal information.

The account, @elonjet, which had amassed more than half a million followers, was listed as suspended Wednesday morning for violating unspecified Twitter rules. Later in the day, Twitter accounts following the jets of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos were also suspended.

The Musk tracking account was created by 20-year-old Jack Sweeney, a college student from Florida. Sweeney’s personal Twitter account was also suspended on Wednesday.

Sweeney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He previously told Newsweek that he did not view the account as a security threat, noting that the data is not real time.

“Well looks like @ElonJet is suspended,” Sweeney tweeted before the suspension earlier Wednesday.

Last month, Musk said he would allow the @ElonJet account to continue even at the risk of his own personal safety.

Twitter has a policy against sharing non-public information about people, but that policy said nothing about “live” information prior to Wednesday, when the page was updated more recently, according to versions of the page saved by the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine”.

Twitter also updated its rules to make linking to “travel itineraries, actual physical location, or other identifying information that would reveal an individual’s location” a violation of its “Private Information and Media Policy.”

Other social media accounts created by Sweeney to follow Musk’s jet, including accounts on Instagram and Telegram, remain active.

Specialized receivers can track an aircraft’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) address when the aircraft is in flight. A community of users of these receivers has been formed to track aircraft around the world.

Sweeney has told CNBC that he started the Twitter account in June 2020 because he was a fan of Musk’s work at the business tycoon’s Tesla and SpaceX companies.

“Even now my dream car is definitely a Tesla,” said Sweeney.

He also told CNBC that Musk had previously offered to pay him $5,000 to delete the account because it was a security risk.

“In the end, the last message from him was, ‘It doesn’t feel right to delete this,'” Sweeney said.

Even as Musk has touted his commitment to free speech since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in October, including restoring accounts associated with the Q-anon movement and other far-right accounts. Yet internally, he has removed critics of its company policy.

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