What just happened? The infamous Twitter account that tracked the private jet of Elon Musk has been suspended, despite the Twitter owner previously saying it would not be banned because of his commitment to free speech.
The Florida college student gained a lot of publicity after he started following Musk's jet, partly because the billionaire offered him $5,000 to close the account as Musk didn't "love the idea of being shot by a nutcase." Sweeney said he'd remove it for $50,000, but the world's richest person never got back to him after saying he'd consider the offer.
One of Musk's promises before he took over Twitter was to turn it into a bastion of free speech. He doubled down on that statement after taking over the platform, noting that he wouldn't ban the account following his plane despite it being a risk to his personal safety.
My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk--- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 7, 2022
It seems that Musk must have changed his mind. Sweeney tweeted a few days ago that the account had been visibly limited/restricted to a severe degree (i.e., shadow banned). He said an anonymous Twitter employee sent him a screenshot of message from the vice president of Twitter's Trust and Safety council asking for heavy filtering to be applied to @ElonJet.
Screenshots show Ella Irwin VP at Twitter Trust and Safety requesting elonjet to have heavy VF (visibility filtering) pic.twitter.com/ehHJpo4zQR--- Jack Sweeney (@JxckSweeney) December 11, 2022
Things started looking up for Sweeney on December 12, when he posted that the account following Musk's jet was no longer banned or hidden in any way. But that changed earlier today when he tweeted that it had been permanently suspended for violating Twitter's rules. The other jet-following accounts Sweeney runs are still operating. He suggests that those who want to follow Musk's jet do so on other platforms, including Instagram.
Sweeney says the accounts hold private-jet owners accountable for the environmental damage they cause. While some users have praised his actions, others say they are a potential threat to people's lives.