Twitter Account Tracking Elon Musk's Jet Suspended

The social media platform’s new owner had pledged to keep @elonjet up because of his free speech principles.
The Twitter account of Elon Musk is displayed on a smartphone.
The Twitter account of Elon Musk is displayed on a smartphone.
Nathan Stirk via Getty Images

Elon Musk appears to have contradicted his position as a “free speech absolutist” after a Twitter account tracking the social media platform owner’s private jet was suspended.

Tweets from the @elonjet account were no longer viewable on Wednesday. The account had more than 526,000 followers as of Tuesday.

It also appeared the personal account of Jack Sweeney, the 20-year-old college student who started the flight-tracking account, had also been suspended.

Musk said in a tweet in November that his commitment to free speech “extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk”.

Started in 2020 when Sweeney was a teenager, the account automatically posted the Gulfstream jet’s flights with a map and an estimate of the amount of jet fuel and carbon emissions it expended.

The University of Central Florida student has said in media interviews that Musk last year sent him a private message offering $5,000 (£4,029) to take it down amid security concerns.

Sweeney runs similar “bot” accounts tracking other celebrities’ airplanes. His accounts tracking private jets used by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and various Russian oligarchs were still on Twitter on Wednesday, as were his accounts tracking Musk’s jet on rival social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Sweeney had days earlier accused Musk’s Twitter of using a filtering technique known as “shadowbanning” to hide his tweets.

Musk has previously criticised “shadowbanning” and alleged that it was unfairly used by Twitter’s past leadership to suppress right-wing accounts.


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