Twitter has suspended multiple accounts that tracked the movements of private planes—including those belonging to Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos—and announced changes to its doxxing policy, prohibiting sharing of real-time location information or linking to external sources that share such data, citing a “risk of physical harm.”
“When someone shares an individual’s live location on Twitter, there is an increased risk of physical harm. Moving forward, we’ll remove Tweets that share this information, and accounts dedicated to sharing someone else’s live location will be suspended,” the Twitter Safety account stated.
Users will still be able to share their own live location on Twitter, and content that shares live location information pertaining to public events or engagements, such as concerts, will also be allowed.
“Tweets that share someone else’s historical (not same-day) location information are also not prohibited by this policy,” Twitter Safety said.
‘News Would Be All Over It’Musk had previously sought to persuade the owner of the now-suspended @elonjet account, college student Jack Sweeney, to stop tracking his private plane, citing safety risks.
“I’m not worried now that Musk owns Twitter. If he banned ElonJet, the news would be all over it, so I don’t think he will do it,” Sweeney said at the time.
Sweeney also wrote on his personal Twitter account that he was against people using the jet account to track down Musk and look for him in person, saying that he’s open to discussing with Musk taking the account down.
‘Direct Personal Safety Risk’For his part, Musk said shortly after taking over Twitter 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.”
That has changed, however, with a number of jet-tracking accounts—including Musk’s—now suspended in line with the new policy.
Sweeney’s personal Twitter account has also been suspended.
“[P]lus he suspended all of my accounts, half of which track aircraft (NASA aircraft, experimental aircraft, weather, airforce etc). not people including my personal,” Sweeney added.
“Flew from LA to Austin last night right after my account was suspended on Twitter,” Sweeney said in the caption to the post.
Musk’s threat to sue Sweeney came as the Twitter chief reported that on Thursday night, a “crazy stalker” climbed onto a car carrying his 2-year-old son in Los Angeles.
“Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info,” Musk said on Twitter, echoing the policy change announced by Twitter Safety.
Sweeney expressed disappointment that his jet-tracking account has been suspended, in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘Paparazzi, Stalkers, & Fans’Hours before Musk threatened to take legal action against Sweeney, he responded to Jim Hall, a self-described Tesla and SpaceX enthusiast and investor, who argued that Sweeney had made it easier for “nutjobs” to find Musk and his family.
“The more the hate being drummed up online against Elon grows the larger the threat to Elon & his family grows. Imagine all the crazies at the extreme of both political sides targeting you nonstop,” Hall wrote.
The contextual note added, however, that “Twitter’s TOS prohibits sharing ‘information that would reveal a person’s location, regardless if this information is publicly available...’”
Twitter did not immediately return a request for comment.