Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October. He has been showing his support for free speech on the social media platform ever since. In one of his November tweets, he affirmed his commitment to free speech. He said in his tweet that he would not ban the account that followed his plane, even though he considered it a ‘direct personal safety risk.’
Twitter, however, suspended the account on Wednesday, December 14. The account, @ElonJet, belonged to Jack Sweeney, a college student from Florida. It tracked the location of Musk’s private jet with the help of flight data that was publicly available. Sweeney tweeted about the suspension of his account, @ElonJet, on the same day and encouraged everyone to follow him on other social media platforms.
Sweeney’s personal account and the account that tracked SpaceX’s employee jets were also suspended shortly afterwards. Before they were deleted, Sweeney had mentioned that the suspension was coordinated, and Musk was well aware of it. On Wednesday evening, Musk tweeted that it violated Twitter’s doxxing policy to post about another person’s real-time location. He also said in the tweet that delayed posting of locations was okay.
The account, @ElonJet, had over half a million followers. The suspensions came as a surprise to Sweeney as Musk had mentioned that he would not ban the account in his November tweet. According to Sweeney, an employee had sent him a screenshot of the company vice president’s Trust and Safety Council. It asked to place heavy visibility filtering on @ElonJet. The council was disbanded on Monday, December 12.