The ElonJet account has been suspended despite Elon Musk saying he will not delete the Twitter account that shared the location tracking of his private jet. The ban comes with the introduction of new security terms from the social media company.
Twitter Bans Elonjet, Introduces New Terms
Screenshots of the banned ElonJet account, as well as news reports on the ban, sparked a buzz on Twitter shortly before the company announced its new terms. The changes were announced on 14 December.
The new terms state that you cannot share someone’s live location in most cases. Twitter says this is because of the risk of physical harm. As a result, the company will suspend accounts sharing this information. Both the ElonJet account as well as creator Jack Sweeney’s personal account have been banned on Twitter.
This is despite Musk saying he will not ban the account in November 2022 as part of his commitment to free speech. Musk’s tweet now has a community note, which states: “The account contained in this tweet is Elonjet, which is currently banned.”
The note states: “Alonjet used publicly available aircraft tracking data to determine which airports Musk’s private jet had flown through.”
Why did Twitter ban the ElonJet account?
So what changed? According to Musk, the previous night someone had followed the car thinking he was in it. He allegedly stopped the car and climbed on the hood. Musk’s son was in the car, but not Musk himself.
While Musk did not mention whether the person used the Elonjet account in any way, he said he is pursuing legal action against Sweeney and other organizations.
The incident appears to have coincided with the release of Twitter policy changes. The new Twitter Terms allow you to share location information that is for historical or public engagements and events, but not location information for travel routes. The fact that this information may be publicly available, as in the case of flight route data, does not protect you from a Twitter ban.
According to New York Times reporter Ryan Mack, about 30 accounts operated by Sweeney have been banned. According to the New York Times, some of these accounts tracked the private jet usage of other billionaires, but others involved government agencies and Russian oligarchs.
The decision has resulted in criticism, particularly in light of Amnesty’s Twitter already suspending accounts and Musk’s previous commitments to free speech that is not illegal.
Twitter terms now ban aircraft tracking
Even when this information is publicly available, the new terms prevent others from building bots that track the flight routes of public figures. This will potentially prevent copycats from creating new accounts that perform the same feature.
However, the ban has also resulted in criticism of Musk due to the seemingly targeted nature of the changes to the terms.