Twitter suspends account that tracks private planes of Elon Musk and others

Twitter has suspended accounts that track the locations of private airplanes, including one that tracked CEO Elon Musk’s jet.

Responding to a user on Wednesday, Musk said the accounts violated Twitter’s “doxxing” rules, meaning they revealed non-public personal information.

The account, @elonjet, which had amassed more than half a million followers, was listed on Wednesday morning as suspended for having violated unspecified Twitter rules. Later in the day, Twitter accounts tracking the jets of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos were also suspended.

The Musk-tracking account was created by 20-year-old Jack Sweeney, a Florida college student. Sweeney’s personal Twitter account was also suspended on Wednesday.

Sweeney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Well it appears @ElonJet is suspended,” Sweeney tweeted earlier Wednesday before the suspension.

Last month, Musk said he’d allow the @ElonJet account to continue even at the risk of his own personal safety.

Other social media accounts created by Sweeney tracking Musk’s jet, including ones on Instagram and Telegram, remain active.

Specialized receivers are able to track an aircraft’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) address when the aircraft is in flight. A community of users of these receivers has formed to track aircraft across the world.

Sweeney has told CNBC he started the Twitter account in June 2020 because he was a fan of Musk’s work at the business mogul’s Tesla and SpaceX companies.

“Even now, my dream car is definitely a Tesla,” Sweeney said.

He also told CNBC that Musk had previously offered to pay him $5,000 to take down the account because it was a safety risk.

“Eventually, the last message from him was ‘It doesn’t feel right to take this down,’” Sweeney said.

Even as Musk has touted his commitment to free speech since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in October, including reinstating accounts associated with the Q-anon movement and other far-right accounts. Yet internally, he’s removed critics of his policies from the company.

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