Twitter has suspended several accounts on the site that use publicly available flight information to track the location of private jets, including the plane used by Twitter owner Elon Musk, a day after the tech billionaire says one of his children was followed by “crazy stalker.” He also vowed to take legal action against the account operator.
The account @ElonJet was created in 2020 by Florida college student Jack Sweeney to track the takeoffs and landings of Musk’s private jet. Musk wasn’t happy with the account but said in November that he wouldn’t ban it, citing his commitment to free speech.
But on Wednesday, the account suddenly disappeared from the service, replaced by the message “account suspended” for violating Twitter’s rules, along with Sweeney’s personal account. The @ElonJet account was briefly restored Wednesday afternoon before being suspended again. Other accounts created by Sweeney to track the private planes of Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates were also suspended, as was Sweeney’s personal account.
Musk explained the new policy in a response to a comment about the policy change.
“Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info. Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok,” Musk said in a tweet Wednesday evening before tweeting the apparent personal connection to the change.
“Last night, car carrying lil X in LA was followed by crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood,” Musk wrote in the later tweet. “Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Musk filed a police report about the alleged encounter. A representative for the Los Angeles Police Department told CNET they couldn’t confirm a report had been filed with the department without more information about where the incident allegedly occurred.
Earlier this year, Musk reportedly offered Sweeney $5,000 to take down the Twitter account, but the 20-year-old student refused, saying $5,000 wasn’t enough for the satisfaction he received from his work.
Sweeney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Twitter, which no longer has a communications department, didn’t respond to a request for comment.