Jack Sweeney, the UCF sophomore who has been an annoyance to Elon Musk for at least a year, has a new Twitter account more than a week after he was banned from the service. The account, which is just hours old and is called @ElonJetNexDay, follows Elon Musk’s private plane, but with a 24-hour lag.
You have to give it to Sweeney; he’s tenacious, even if you don’t know whether this is the last chapter of an ongoing saga or not.
The 20-year-old started the Twitter account @ElonJet two years ago that automatically maps Musk’s private aircraft travels using public data. Musk messaged Sweeney on the site in January, offering him $5,000 to remove the post. In a letter to Sweeney, Musk allegedly warned that the idea posed a security threat. The prospect of being shot by a lunatic is not appealing to me. Sweeney asked Musk for a Model 3 or $50,000 jokingly, but Musk “ghosted” him thereafter. However, Musk clearly did not forget about Sweeney.
Instead, Musk, the current owner of Twitter, disabled the account, losing Sweeney 530,000 followers and making him a news story on a very busy day last week. On Twitter, Musk speculated that the motive was the “crazy stalker” who had been following the vehicle transporting his son X A-12 around Los Angeles. A short time later, Twitter informed Sweeney that “after thorough assessment,” it had been “decided your account breached the Twitter rules,” but it did not specify which regulations had been broken.
Sweeney’s personal account was deleted (for violating Twitter’s rules against “platform manipulation and spam”), as were several accounts he ran that monitored the flight schedules of other notable figures, such as Musk’s adversary Mark Zuckerberg. A day later, Twitter deleted the accounts of numerous journalists who covered the Sweeney story, including Ryan Mac of the New York Times and Drew Harwell of the Washington Post. The phrase “some remain shut out” is a direct quote from the original.
Musk has also tweeted, “Legal action is being done against Sweeney & groups that backed damage to my family,” which indicates that he is focusing even more heavily on Sweeney.
Sweeney has always been active on other social media platforms. Sweeney has pages on Facebook and Instagram that track the comings and goings of private jets, including that of Musk, and have substantial followings; he opened an account on the newer social media platform Mastadon last week to track Musk’s private jet in real time, and has already amassed 67,000 followers.
He has resumed his tweeting, at least temporarily.
There will be no infraction for “publishing publicly accessible location information after a reasonable period has passed, such that the person is no longer at danger for bodily harm,” as stated in the updated policy. Twitter’s newly enacted safety guidelines seem to be satisfied by @ElonJetNexDay, which delays reporting on where Musk’s private plane has flown by 24 hours.
Even again, Musk has been acting bizarrely as Twitter’s new owner almost from the moment he brought a sink into the company’s San Francisco offices in late October to make a joke about his acquisition, so it’s not hard to see the account as Sweeney giving him the finger. (“Really think about it.”)
Even Musk’s most ardent supporters on Twitter feel worn out by the constant controversy. Sunday night, Musk polled Twitter users, asking whether they thought he should resign as the company’s CEO. After finding “someone crazy enough to accept the job!” Musk has said that he would resign from his position as CEO.
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