Thursday, February 2

Twitter suspends bot account tracking Elon Musk’s jet

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Twitter Inc suspended a bot account tracking its owner Elon Musk’s private jet, the account’s operator Jack Sweeney said in a tweet on Wednesday.

The Twitter account tracked movements of Musk’s private jet using data available in the public domain.

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Later in the day, Sweeney’s Twitter account was also suspended.

Musk said in a tweet in November that his commitment to free speech “extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.”

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“Real-time posting of someone else’s location violates doxxing policy, but delayed posting of locations are ok,” Musk said on Wednesday in response to a tweet about the suspension.

“Doxxing” is the public release of sensitive information identifying an individual or organization, like a home address or phone number.

Sweeney, a 20-year-old student at the University of Central Florida, who also operates similar bot accounts tracking Musk’s jet on Facebook, Instagram and Telegram, tweeted on Saturday that Ella Irwin, Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety, requested that the account be filtered and less visible to users.

Twitter and Sweeney did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

In previous media interviews, Sweeney said he turned down a $5,000 offer from Musk in 2021 to shut down the bot account.

Separately, Twitter accounts tracking the jets of billionaire tech entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have also been suspended. (Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Eva Mathews; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shounak Dasgupta)