The multi-billionaire Twitter owner has been widely criticized for suspending an account that tracks the movements of his and other wealthy private jets, just over a month after he drew praise from Twitter users for refusing to suspend the account .
On Wednesday, Twitter users woke up to find the automated one ElonJet The account – and its creator, University of Central Florida student Jack Sweeney – had been banned from the platform, along with several dozen accounts that used publicly available data to track the movements of a number of high-profile figures, including several Russian ones Oligarchs and former President Donald Trump.
“Twitter has suspended all thirty of my Twitter accounts,” Sweeney wrote Wednesday afternoon on Trump’s Truth Social platform.
The suspensions came about a month after Twitter owner Elon Musk wrote a post highlighting his decision not to remove Sweeney’s account as a prime example of his commitment to free speech on the platform.
“My commitment to freedom of expression extends even to not suspending the account after my plane, even though it poses a direct personal security risk.” he wrote back then.
Many users on the site were quick to point out Musk’s apparent policy reversal, with the phrase “Elon’s jet” quickly becoming a trending topic on the platform on Wednesday afternoon.
Daniel Uhlfelder, a former candidate for Florida Attorney General and a well-known liberal commentator, summed up his feelings succinctly his own answer on Musk’s November tweet after the suspension: “Liar”.
“So much for free speech,” said Brianna Wu, a software engineer and liberal activist. wrote on the platform Wednesday. “Musk killed @ElonJet, which was using public plane data. I have an overwhelming empathy for doxing and action, but there is no valid argument that endangers anyone.”
news week has reached out to both Tesla and Twitter — which recently fired members of its communications staff — for comment.
The ban came days after Sweeney posted on Twitter and Truth Social about receiving leaked internal communications from the highest levels of Twitter, restricting the visibility of the ElonJet account’s posts on the platform – a move Musk and What critics of previous leadership have described as a “shadow” ban.”
In recent weeks, Musk and several conservative media figures have released numerous internal communications dating back to the 2020 presidential election and beyond, dubbed the “Twitter files,” purportedly showing how Twitter employees streamlined decisions to increase the visibility of a Restricting a range of accounts they believed were either threatening incitement to violence or spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
In select leaks, Musk and figures such as conservative columnist Bari Weiss, blogger Matt Taibbi and climate change skeptic Michael Shellenberger argue that Twitter improperly used its influence to silence conservatives on the platform, prompting right-wing calls for the Justice Department to launch an investigation into the past conduct of the Service.
“Twitter is both a social media company and a crime scene,” Musk said wrote on December 10th.
After a failed attempt to pay Sweeney to stop posting, Musk appears to have become what he has vowed to fight.
news week recently interviewed conservative author Michael P Senger, who was removed from the platform for violating his COVID-19 misinformation policy and who believes he is staying away from the platform for his criticism of the Chinese government. (Musk’s purchase of Twitter was helped in part by partners with financial ties to Beijing.)
Others have accused Musk of banning mentions of Twitter’s rival platform Mastodon, as well as content related to Ukraine, as “shadow bans” according to well-known journalists Julia Davis— a top Kremlin critic — saw engagement in her tweets about the conflict cut in half.
Musk, in particular, has repeated a significant amount of Russian propaganda and has faced allegations of personally meeting with the country’s President Vladimir Putin before proposing that Ukraine cede part of its territory to the invading country in a much-criticized peace plan. (Musk has denied the meeting.)
news week asked Sweeney for comment. However, in an interview with BuzzFeed News, the 20-year-old said he has no plans to stop publishing the whereabouts of Musk’s jet, saying “I can’t let him win now.”
“I’m quite surprised, especially after he posted a tweet saying he wouldn’t,” Sweeney told BuzzFeed News. “But I think after the recent uproar over the weekend, he’s probably not too happy about all of that.”
https://www.newsweek.com/elon-musk-slammed-suspending-twitter-elonjet-account-that-tracks-his-plane-jack-sweeney-1767220 Elon Musk slammed for suspending account tracking his plane: ‘Liar’