A day after tech mogul Elon Musk claimed one of his children was followed by a “crazy stalker,” Twitter deleted multiple accounts that utilised publicly accessible flight information to monitor the whereabouts of private planes, including Musk’s own plane. He also threatened legal action against the administrator of the account.
In2020, Jack Sweeney, a college student from Florida, launched the account @ElonJet to follow the flights of Musk’s personal plane. Although Musk expressed his displeasure with the account in November, he maintained his stance that he would not shut it down because of his support for free expression.
On Wednesday, however, the account was immediately removed from Twitter along with Sweeney’s personal account for breaking Twitter’s rules. On Wednesday afternoon, the @ElonJet account was temporarily reinstated before being suspended again. Sweeney’s personal account, along with those he’d set up to monitor the private jets of Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates, were all deactivated.
Upon reading a comment questioning the new policy, Musk responded by outlining its details.
“Doxxing someone’s live location is a serious threat to their safety, and any account caught doing so will be permanently banned. This includes sharing references to real-time location information websites. It’s fine to share people’s delayed travel itineraries as long as they don’t pose a threat to public safety “The apparent personal connection to the shift was tweeted by Musk on Wednesday night.
In a later tweet, Musk explained that a “crazy stalker” had followed the vehicle carrying Little X around Los Angeles last night, thinking it was him. I’m taking legal action against Sweeney and the organisations that helped him harm my family.
Whether or not Musk reported the alleged encounter to the police was unclear at the time. Without knowing more about the location of the alleged crime, a Los Angeles Police Department representative told CNET that they could not confirm a report had been filed with the department.
Musk reportedly offered Sweeney $5,000 to shut down the Twitter account earlier this year, but the 20-year-old student declined, saying the sum wasn’t commensurate with the pride he felt in his accomplishment.
Sweeney was unavailable for comment at the time of publication. Twitter, which apparently has disbanded its PR team, declined to comment.
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