Elon Musk deletes Twitter accounts that track billionaires’ private jets
With more than 25 accounts suspended in a single day, Twitter’s boss is on the hunt for users who track the movements of celebrities’ private jets.
An account that automatically reported the routes of Elon Musk’s private jet was suspended by the platform on December 14, despite the entrepreneur’s promise not to touch it, exposing its variable geometry approach to moderation.
The account was restored later in the day in the US on Wednesday, with the owner tweeting: “I’m back!”. Before finally stopping again in the evening.
In early November, a few days later, Elon Musk wrote on Twitter: “My commitment to free speech extends to not banning an account that follows my plane, even if it directly threatens my personal safety.” the value of the platform is 44 billion dollars.
It just says “Account Suspended”. said account, called @ElonJet on Wednesday. Created by a student and followed by nearly 500,000 people, @ElonJet used public data to automatically show when and where the Spacex and Tesla boss’ device took off and landed.
In a message posted at the top of the account when it was still visible, its author emphasized that he had “all rights to transmit information” on the plane as long as the data was open, and that all planes were required to be equipped with a transponder, a device designed to help them be recognized by radars.
“Twitter’s policy states that information found on other sites may be shared here,” the post reads.
More than 25 accounts have been suspended
Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday, “It’s against the +doxing+rules to post someone’s location in real time, but it’s allowed to post it offline.” his consent.
The student’s personal account, Jack Sweeney, was also suspended. The same goes for other accounts created by the 20-year-old that track the movements of other celebrities’ private jets. Like Elon Musk’s plane, the planes of Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos or even Bill Gates have seen their routes filled in on Twitter.
In total, the New York Times indicates that more than 25 accounts that were checking the devices of government agencies, billionaires or personalities have been suspended. This summer, a similar account gained momentum after Bernard Arnault’s private jet. The LVMH boss opted to sell the jet and lease it to travel anonymously.
Since taking over the platform, the multibillionaire has sent mixed messages about what is and isn’t allowed. An ardent defender of freedom of expression — as long as records respect the law — he reinstated accounts previously banned by the social network, including Donald Trump’s.
But he also suspended Kanye West’s message after several posts deemed anti-Semitic and refused to return to the platform of far-right assassin Alex Jones.
Elon Musk has also in recent days promoted the release of a series of “Twitter files,” internal documents that were supposed to show questionable moderation practices under the previous administration.
According to US media, he also attacked former Twitter security chief Yoel Roth, who later had to leave his home for security reasons.
Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former head of the platform, publicly defended his former colleagues on Tuesday, saying that attacks against them “can be dangerous and solve nothing.”
He also argued that “only the original author of content can remove it” and that moderation should be done by algorithms developed by the general public, not through a “centralized system”.