Musk reportedly banned an account tracking his private jet

Image for article titled Musk, the Anti-Censorship Crusader, allegedly shadow-banned an account tracking his private jet

photo: Dimitrios Kambouris (Getty Images)

The owner of a Twitter account that has spent the last two years persecution Billionaire Elon Musk flight location says his account has ‘shadow ban’ This accusation comes despite Musk’s recent public assurances that he was not taking action on the account.

The owner of the account, Jack Sweeney, claims an anonymous Twitter employee told him that the account was popular for him ElonJet The tracker bot received limited visibility “to a large extent” starting December 2nd. Sweeney then posted a screenshot allegedly showing Twitter’s Trust and Safety Vice President Ella Irwin urging team members to “apply strong VF [visibility filtering] to @elonjet immediately.” Sweeney posted the information in a Twitter thread he dubbed “MyTwitter Files.”

Sweeney, a first-year student at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, says he uses publicly available transponder data from Musk’s private plane to track its location. This data, which includes the aircraft’s altitude, latitude, longitude and heading, is then fed into a algorithm he created. The @ElonJet bot then takes that information and tweets when Musk takes off and lands.

Although there are similar trackers for other important figures, such as Mark Zuckerberg, Drake and Jeff Bezos, ElonJet stands out because it has managed to draw the enduring wrath of its target. Sweeney already told in January The New York Times Musk personally contacted him via DMs and asked him to remove the bot in exchange for $5,000. Sweeney Counter offered, saying he would consider deactivating the account for $50,000 or even doing an internship at one of Musk’s companies. Musk, who said he believes social media accounts tracking his whereabouts are “security issues.” allegedly cut off communication with the teenager.

Months later, Musk officially announced that he intended to sell acquire Twitter, which amazes many if the billionaire suspended Sweeney’s bot account. Back then, Sweeney said He made backup plans to keep the bot active on other platforms “in case that’s the case [Twitter] Account disappears.”

Given Musk contradictory rants in favor of freedom of expression and repeated criticism of Twitter’s previous content moderation philosophy, it was unclear if He would take action against the account once he officially owns the platform. Musk addressed the issue in early November, saying He would ban the @ElonJet account based on free speech principles.

“My commitment to freedom of expression extends even to not suspending the account after my plane, even though it poses a direct personal security risk,” Musk said in the tweet.

Sweeney responded to the tweet, thanking Musk for his decision and saying that the majority of his account followers are indeed supporters of Musk and his companies.

Gizmodo reached out to Twitter for comment on Sweeney’s claims, but has received no response. The communications team of Twitter allegedly suffered significant cuts as part of the company’s 3,700 layoffs.

Sweeney’s claims, Musk continues the so-called “Twitter files“, which, among other things, have published internal documents showing Twitter’s approach restrict the visibility of a specific account.

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