Hours after suspending @ElonJet, an account that tracked the trips taken by Elon Musk’s private plane, Twitter has now banned the account’s creator, Jack Sweeney. Twitter is also blocking links to versions of the tracker on other platforms, like Instagram and Facebook.
If you try and visit Sweeney’s account, you’ll see a message that the account has been suspended. Attempting to tweet certain links to Sweeney’s Elon Musk jet tracker on other platforms will display a message that the link is “potentially harmful,” as spotted by Tony Webster.
It seems Twitter doesn’t currently have an ironclad filter for this, as I was able to tweet an alternate link to the Instagram version of the tracker. But it appears that Twitter is stepping up its actions against Sweeney and his accounts, despite Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s “commitment” to free speech, which he said in November extended to “not banning the account following my plane.”
Sweeney was suspended for violating Twitter’s rules against “platform manipulation and spam,” according to a screenshot shared by a Mastodon account belonging to Sweeney. But Musk said that the ban may have been for something else: in response to a tweet praising the suspension, Musk wrote that “real-time posting of someone else’s location violates doxxing policy.”
Twitter has also updated its private information policy to state that sharing live location information is a violation of the policy. Here is the full addition to what now counts as a violation:
live location information, including information shared on Twitter directly or links to 3rd-party URL(s) of travel routes, actual physical location, or other identifying information that would reveal a person’s location, regardless if this information is publicly available;
Twitter didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment; the company dissolved its press office during the recent layoffs.
Other accounts tracking the jets of billionaires, including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, have also been suspended. It’s not clear if they all belong to Sweeney, but it seems as if many likely do, based on channel listings in his Discord. He’s seen about 30 of his accounts banned, he told The New York Times’ Ryan Mac.
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