Twitter has blocked the ElonJet account, which tracked the flights of Elon Musk’s private jet, despite the billionaire’s statement that he will not ban it, because he is a big supporter of freedom of speech, reports Ars Technica.
“Looks like ElonJet is suspended,” wrote the account creator Jack Sweeney. He added that people can still follow the bot on other platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and Truth Social.
Clicking on the ElonJet account on Twitter now displays a message that says: “Account Post Suspended: Twitter suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules.” Sweeney also posted a screenshot of the message he received, which reads: “Your account is permanently suspended. After careful review, we determined your account broke the Twitter rules.” The message further said, “You won’t be able to create new accounts. If you think we got this wrong, you can submit an appeal.”
Sweeney is a student at the University of Central Florida. Earlier this year he stated that Elon Musk offered him $5,000 to deactivate the ElonJet account in 2021 before Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion.
Before being blocked, a pinned tweet from the ElonJet account said: “This account has every right to post jet whereabouts, ADS-B data is public, every aircraft in the world is required to have a transponder, Even AF1 (@AirForceTrack) Twitter policy states data found on other sites is allowed to be shared here as well.”
Sweeney has also created numerous other aircraft tracking bots, including one that tracks the private jets of Russian oligarchs. This Twitter account can still be seen, although it serves the same function as the ElonJet account. Sweeney bots tracking NASA planes, Bill Gates jets, Mark Zuckerberg and Air Force One, are also still active.
Musk completed his takeover of Twitter in late October and cited the ElonJet bot as an example of his commitment to free speech. “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk,” wrote Musk on November 6.
But Sweeney later claimed that he had received internal messages from an anonymous employee showing that Twitter limited ElonJet’s visibility on December 2. Sweeney wrote on Twitter on December 12 that the visibility of the account was restored, but after two days it got blocked.