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Twitter Shuts the Account that Tracks Elon Musk’s Aircraft

Elon Musk and Twitter

Despite the billionaire’s claims of free expression, Elon Musk‘s private jet’s flight tracking account on Twitter was shut down on Wednesday.

From his personal @JxckSweeney account, the founder Jack Sweeney tweeted, “Well it seems @ElonJet is suspended.”

Later that day, after Twitter modified its rules to generally forbid tweets from disclosing someone’s location in real time, the account briefly went live.

Yes, I’m back. In a tweet sent out by @ElonJet, the company also included a link to flight tracking accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Mastodon, “just in case.”

Soon after, attempts to access @ElonJet and Sweeney’s personal Twitter account were met with notifications that they had both been suspended.

Musk wrote on Instagram that his plane “flew from LA to Austin last night after my account was suspended on Twitter.”

Musk stated in a tweet that “any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone would be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation.”

This includes sharing URLs to websites that provide real-time location data.

Doxxing is the practice of publishing personal information online, such as a home address or phone number, usually with the intention of abusing a particular 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,” according to Twitter.

Sweeney gained prominence for his Twitter account that monitors the movements of the billionaire’s aircraft and even turned down Elon Musk’s $5,000 request to take down the account, @ElonJet, which has millions of followers.

After acquiring Twitter in a $44 billion agreement, Musk made it known that he would not touch the account as part of his commitment to free expression on the network.

Real-time views of aviation traffic are available on a number of Twitter accounts and on flight-following websites, however this exposure often results in complaints and even equipment seizures.

ADS-B technology, which broadcasts airplane positions using signals that relatively simple equipment may pick up, is required by US regulations for planes in certain zones.

Sweeney, who requested public data from the US government to authenticate Musk’s ownership of his plane, said it can take some detective work to determine or validate who a plane actually belongs to.

The account was suspended a day after former Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey wrote an online article in defense of the company’s employees, whom Musk had lambasted for decisions about content moderation.

I firmly think that any work created by someone for the internet should remain up until the creator decides to take it down, wrote Dorsey.

It ought to be accessible and addressable at all times. Takedowns and suspensions of content shouldn’t be possible.

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