LONDON – A Florida college student who operated a Twitter account which tracked Elon Musk’s personal jet had his account suspended last week.
On the morning of Wednesday December 14, twenty year-old Jack Sweeney had his account @elonjet suspended by the new Twitter CEO.
The account, which used publicly available ADS-B information to track Musk’s private Gulfstream G650 jet registered N628TS, had more than half a million followers.
Not long after the Twitter account was suspended, Sweeney also found that his personal account was also suspended.
Elon Musk who has become a controversial figure since purchasing the social media platform for US $44 billion, claimed that the suspension arose from a violation of Twitter’s policy of doxxing – the real-time posting of another person’s location.
He added that “delayed postings of location are okay” and stated that the change would be updated in the language of the relevant Twitter policy.
In early November, Musk stated that his supposedly staunch position on free speech would include allowing the account tracking his personal jet to continue operating.
Sweeney, a college freshman at the University of Florida, expressed surprise at the sudden decision to suspend his account, given Musk’s publicly stated stance on the matter last month.
The student had reportedly grown up exposed to aviation as the son of an airline pilot, and this led to his keen interest in creating tracking bots to follow and report on specific jets.
The information was drawn from the publicly available ADS-B network and the FAA database.
Sweeney told CBNC News that billionaire Musk had previously offered him $5,000 to take the Twitter account down, claiming that it was a safety risk.
Elon Musk, the new Twitter CEO, and self-proclaimed “champion of free speech” has since suspended the accounts of journalists critical of him, as well as the account of alternative social media open source platform Mastodon.
Users posting links to their Mastodon accounts also found themselves censored, with links disabled and the inclusion of accompanying text stating: “Warning: this link may be unsafe.”
Avgeek Jack Sweeney still operates tracking accounts on alternative social media platforms.