Twitter Bans @ElonJet Private Jet Tracking Account

Twitter Bans @ElonJet Private Jet Tracking Account

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Apparently Elon Musk’s commitment to “free speech” isn’t quite as strong as he had claimed…

Twitter bans @ElonJet Twitter handle

For quite some time, a Twitter account with the handle @ElonJet has been automatically posting the whereabouts of Elon Musk’s private jet. Specifically, Musk has a 2015 Gulfstream G650ER with the registration code N628TS.

The account uses publicly available ADS-B data to share this information. This would be different than if someone were leaking information from some private system, as this is all information already in the public domain. If you don’t want people to know where your private plane is, don’t have a private plane, it’s that simple.

When Elon Musk purchased Twitter, he framed it as being all about preserving free speech. In early November, he even Tweeted that “my commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.”

Well, apparently that commitment doesn’t extend quite that far, because the account has just been permanently suspended. The owner of the account, @JxckSweeney, shared the suspension notice, which claims the account broke Twitter rules. However, it’s not clear what Twitter rules were being broken, as nothing has changed about the account in recent weeks.

https://twitter.com/JxckSweeney/status/1603036301472976897

Interestingly prior to the ban, the @ElonJet account seemed to be shadow banned for some period of time, whereby it didn’t show up in any search results.

https://twitter.com/JxckSweeney/status/1601347373254729730

Once that was exposed, that shadow ban seemed to be undone…

https://twitter.com/JxckSweeney/status/1602354433807061070

…only to be replaced with a permanent suspension a few days later.

You can continue to track the location of Elon Musk’s private jet via Facebook or Instagram.

Background on the @ElonJet Twitter account

For those not familiar with the backstory here, the @ElonJet Twitter account really became popular roughly a year ago, when Musk drew attention to it. Musk wasn’t happy about having his aircraft tracked, so in late 2021 he sent the teen behind the account a direct message on Twitter, and in part the conversation went like this:

Musk: “Ok, how about $5k for this account and generally helipng make it slightly harder for crazy people to track me?”
Sweeney: “Sounds doable, account and all my help. Any chance to up that to $50k? It would be great support in college and would possibly allow me to get a car maybe even a Model 3. Would love to help you out.”

Musk reportedly stopped responding after that, so no deal was reached. At the time the teen said he eventually wanted to work for one of Musk’s companies. I wonder if that’s still the case…

Bottom line

Musk claimed he would protect “free speech” at all costs (and I put that in quotes, because protecting free speech and allowing online hate and harassment aren’t the same thing). He even specifically promised he wouldn’t ban the account following his plane, even though it allegedly posed a risk to his life.

Well, that Twitter account has now been banned, even though nothing has changed about the posting behavior. It was just posting automated updates about the whereabouts of the jet, as before. It’s almost as if… well, never mind.

What do you make of this @ElonJet suspension situation?

Conversations (75)
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  1. Henry Young Guest

    Surely the correct place to address this issue is at the ADS-B level. He may be off Twitter, but you can still track Elon in SkyGlass, which uses crowd sourced ADS-B receivers.

  2. Mary Guest

    If people had threatened your life and were following you, you’d do it as well. It seems like a safety issue.

    1. Anthony Parr Guest

      Isn’t the hate speech a safety issue too? The point here is that he wants “safety” for himself but nobody else.

  3. Sel_D Member

    @Licky you should update this with his statement. Seems like a reasonable policy to me. He’s obviously biased given what happened with his jet, but it’s reasonable none the less.

    “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.

    Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok.“

  4. stlsch02 Member

    Here’s my take from this story about @ElonJet twitter handle
    Wait a minute Ben Schlappig
    One Mile at a Time is on Twitter has 80.5K followers
    Maybe now I should join twitter be one of his followers unless now that One Mile at a Time
    Doesn’t want to be on twitter anymore
    I used to be afraid of twitter but I am not sure if it’s worth it to sign up

  5. kels2003 Guest

    Wow, ... is this why he bought twitter?

    Love this kid and his account. Is he the same one who tracked all the billionaires' private planes? Doing god's work

  6. KBSam Guest

    Come on folks. Think critically here. Tracking someone's transport vehicle, regardless of method (plane, vehicle, train, etc.), is a classic violation of privacy and exposes any target (not just EM) to potential nefarious intent unnecessarily. It can also be classified as harassment in some circles. NO ONE should be exposed to tracking methods like this on social media or anywhere else. I recognize that flight plans are public, but seriously people, what possible reason would...

    Come on folks. Think critically here. Tracking someone's transport vehicle, regardless of method (plane, vehicle, train, etc.), is a classic violation of privacy and exposes any target (not just EM) to potential nefarious intent unnecessarily. It can also be classified as harassment in some circles. NO ONE should be exposed to tracking methods like this on social media or anywhere else. I recognize that flight plans are public, but seriously people, what possible reason would make one want this information? Think critically! I beg you all to cease with the mudslinging. That applies to OMAAT content providers as well. As soon as OMAAT content begins to lean that direction, it is no longer relevant. There are plenty of other high-quality sources for travel hacking education.

    1. Anthony Parr Guest

      If he doesn’t want his private aircraft which uses the publicly funded air traffic control system free of charge (it’s funded by a tax on air tickets sales) then he should use another form of transport.

  7. Bob Guest

    When billionaires don't get regular afternoon naps...

    Jeff B is another striving to be like EV nut job. "this is not the proper way to handle inflation".... Maybe don't fill up your mega yacht first.

  8. RF Guest

    Free speech for himself but not for anyone else.

  9. Ben L. Diamond

    Probably worth updating the story to add that Twitter has now also banned the personal account of Jack Sweeney, the guy behind @elonjet

    1. Jan Guest

      “I guess I can’t let him win now,” the kid says.

      It will be interesting to see how this David vs Goliath would play out.

  10. Stefan Guest

    Elon is a patient man. With his resources he simply could make the kid disappear.

    1. Andrew Diamond

      He might be too cheap for that. It would probably cost more than $5k for an effective deployment.

  11. George Romey Guest

    Why is it anybody's business on where a really rich dude flys his plane to. Unless he's offering me a free ride why would remotely care where this man is off to?

    1. bhcompy Member

      The data is public. You don't have to make it your business. People do all kinds of things with public data. LexisNexis makes a billion USD a year off of privatizing public data.

  12. Pete Guest

    Yup, Musk is a petulant, narcissistic douche; but we knew that already.

  13. Jojo Guest

    Twitter is a private company and they can ban who they want right????

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      that is what we heard for years when the oligopoly consisted of FB, Twitter and the rest all moving in the same direction together.
      Now that someone has moved away from that locked-step behavior, we have some people going nuts.
      Competition is good - whether it means social media or electric vehicles or satellite internet or space services.

    2. Anthony Parr Guest

      Twitter previously had content moderation policies that existed for the good of the community, not one individual. That’s the difference between then and now.

    3. Prateek Guest

      Would have been perfectly fine if cons had not racked up such a brouhaha over shadowbanning and censorship.

  14. JoePro Guest

    Something fascinating about Twitter you may not have known: most people have spent more time reading and commenting about Twitter than ever using Twitter.

    1. JWags Guest

      95% of the people who think Twitter is a cancer or toxic or worthless have never found a good use for it and thus are actually pretty naive to what it actually can be used for other than trolling or mud slinging.

    2. JoePro Guest

      And 102.5% of statistics are real.

  15. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    I really don't see the issue here. The account was helping psychos to track his every move. Even Billionaires deserve some sort of privacy and safety IMHO.

    1. Jason lee Guest

      Except other people are posting blatant misinformation, spreading conspiracy theories, and that is leading to people getting threatened and stalked. Yet Musk specifically bought Twitter to empower these people and remove censorship of these people.

    2. Julia Guest

      @BenjaminGuttery

      Except that info is already available to the public.

    3. chasgoose Guest

      By that standard @LibsofTikTok should also be banned.

  16. Endre Guest

    “That’s enough, I’ll sell my Tesla and delete my Twitter account” — SJW

    Musk tries hard removing bots. Whether that Elon Jet account was one is debatable, but maybe more plausible than “he’s evil!!!11!”

    1. Andrew Diamond

      I did sell my Tesla. But I did it when Elon was spewing Covid misinformation and ignoring county orders in order to get his Fremont factory workers back to work with no masks or protection.

      I'm not a SJW, but I do care about other's wellbeing. That's obviously not on-brand for Elon.

  17. Sel, D. Guest

    As someone who has had their flights messed with to the point that you no longer post your travel plans ahead of time, you'd think you might be more compassionate regarding strangers tracking your movement.

    He's cleaning out bots, which this account undeniably is.

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      It is not a bot account, dear.

    2. Sel_D Member

      It absolutely 100% is, categorically.

    3. Julia Guest

      No, it's an actual person posting information that is already available to the public.

  18. Mantis Guest

    Classic whataboutism. So if you don't allow someone to enable your personal stalkers by tracking you on your own platform, that somehow validates the previous several years of blatant SM censorship based purely on political viewpoints, in coordination with politicians, MSM and other like minded tech companies? You lefties are truly shameless.

    1. Jason lee Guest

      Citation needed. Or are you just imagining a vast conspiracy, pretending it to be fact, and using it to justify anything you want?

    2. Sel_D Member

      Ummmm the twitter files. You would have probably heard about it if the msm actually covered it. Look it up.

    3. Anthony Parr Guest

      Twitter previously had content moderation policies that existed for the benefit of the whole community instead of the whims of a single individual.

  19. ben zenize Guest

    "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."
    A. J. Liebling

  20. Henry Guest

    Love this blog but jesus when did it start covering political crap? I don’t disagree but this doesn’t even remotely have anything to with travel other than “airplane.” Just what we don’t need in the world is more people feeling the need to comment pointlessly on the political world. We read you blog for travel we deserve better. But I guess it worked you got the click!

    1. David Diamond

      Blink twice if someone forced you to click into this article.

    2. Jerry Diamond

      There was nothing political in this post. I learned about @elonjet through this blog. I even follow(ed) the account. This blog covers many topics relating to aviation, and for most of us avgeeks, a kid putting together a system that tweets ADS-B information about a high profile person's plane is pretty cool.

    3. Charlie Guest

      @Henry
      Well said...I have stopped reading other blogs for this exact reason.

    4. MiniMe Guest

      ADBS Tracking is great. I learned about it from this blog. The fact that someone is getting banned from Twitter for posting aviation information is interesting.

  21. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The whole Twitter and Elon Musk extends far beyond this story and has enormous political overtones but the man is indeed exposing other activity that was suppressed from the public.
    He offered someone money to not publish his personal info but the guy persisted.
    If you would like to buy a social media platform, you can make up the rules too.
    The simple reality is that Twitter was the lowest priced means...

    The whole Twitter and Elon Musk extends far beyond this story and has enormous political overtones but the man is indeed exposing other activity that was suppressed from the public.
    He offered someone money to not publish his personal info but the guy persisted.
    If you would like to buy a social media platform, you can make up the rules too.
    The simple reality is that Twitter was the lowest priced means for Elon Musk or anyone else to change the rules that clearly tilted the social media empire in one direction.

    Given that many people celebrated Twitter and FB and other company's ability to shut down content and accounts which the thought acceptable, this story is simply a non-event other than to drive some traffic that want to see where Musk flies to other platforms.

    1. chasgoose Guest

      So it’s ok when Elon Musk suppresses information on a site he owns but not when the previous owners did it. Got it.

  22. Carlos Guest

    I have on some occasions thought about getting a Tesla. Now, no… there is some moral imperative in not supporting an assh0le who wants to do real evil.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      The man has practically institutionalized the electric car segment and Tesla's are still the gold standard for the industry. If you are willing to do something based on his political views or what he does in his other businesses at the potential expense of what is in your own financial and technological best interests for electric transporation, then you do you but most people are capable of separating the two.

    2. Eric Guest

      Plenty of excellent competing products now that are lower total cost of ownership.

      We shopped broadly with extensive analysis and ended up with a VW ID4 as well as a BMW i4; very satisfied with both.

      Model 3 and Y looked decent but higher total cost of ownership. When we rent the Teslas, we're happy with our decision to go with the i4 and ID4.

    3. Frank B Gold

      Teslas are absolutely not the gold standard. The build quality is the worst in the business. Great batteries, bad software, horrible cars. Like Eric said, the ID4 is probably the best on the market currently and I shopped the Tesla Model 3 before buying the Kona EV a few years ago and the difference was astounding. Tesla can't get basic things right like steering response and trunk latches.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      nowhere did I say that there aren't very solid and competitive products by makers other than Tesla.
      But Tesla has still built more electric vehicles than everyone else and has the largest product portfolio.
      The point is precisely for you to shop based on the performance and economics for what YOU need and want - not based on political stances of company owners, esp. in businesses that don't directly relate to the product you are acquiring.

    5. Ben L. Diamond

      Jesus, Tim, it's ok if somebody cares about the company owner's politics when making a car purchase. Please untwist your knickers.

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you do you but I and a lot of other people will make the best financial and technical solution for my needs irrespective of a company's politics.
      I'd love to see research that shows I'm in the minority.

      Do you know how many people have said they were going to leave Twitter and are still there?

      The number of people that said they weren't going to buy a Tesla because of Musk's politics and...

      you do you but I and a lot of other people will make the best financial and technical solution for my needs irrespective of a company's politics.
      I'd love to see research that shows I'm in the minority.

      Do you know how many people have said they were going to leave Twitter and are still there?

      The number of people that said they weren't going to buy a Tesla because of Musk's politics and actually do so - not to be replaced by other buyers - is undoubtedly a very small number

    7. Ben L. Diamond

      It's so weird to pretend that every Tesla owner decided to buy the car solely due to cost and technical factors. At a minimum, a sizable minority of Tesla purchases are at least partially influenced by the buyer's own positive personal assessment of the company's owner. These include people who like his right wing politics, people who think he's some impressive techno-visionary they want to associate with, and of course the slavering members of his...

      It's so weird to pretend that every Tesla owner decided to buy the car solely due to cost and technical factors. At a minimum, a sizable minority of Tesla purchases are at least partially influenced by the buyer's own positive personal assessment of the company's owner. These include people who like his right wing politics, people who think he's some impressive techno-visionary they want to associate with, and of course the slavering members of his personality cult. You can literally find these people all the internet. They're extremely not shy about telling everyone they bought a Tesla cause they like Musk!

    8. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "The man has practically institutionalized the electric car segment "

      Um, fairly certain that you misspelled "Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning" with your first two words there....

    9. JWags Guest

      He didn't say invented. Two inventors who left Tesla before any non-Roadster was produced didn't have any hand in the business and scale up that got Tesla to where it is now. There is a reason neither have done anything of substance, business wise, since leaving Tesla 15 years ago.

  23. Not Lucky Guest

    Face it - this billionaire snowflake has no interest in free speech - he simply wants to control the media narrative to match his own perspectives and suit his own interests. And he owns Twitter, so he can do what he wants and the rest of us can whine about it and it doesn't matter.

    There is nothing new about the money controlling the narrative, unfortunately.

  24. Jonathan Guest

    If you’ve been paying attention, he’s declared a war on bots on Twitter. My expectation is that this account is a bot account and was caught in that.

    1. Ben L. Diamond

      If you've been paying attention, the gap between what Elon *says* he's doing at Twitter and what's he's *actually doing* at Twitter is miles wide and growing daily.

      There's no bigger example of this, of course, than his loud proclamations about cleaning sexually exploitative content off of Twitter while simultaneously decimating the team responsible for monitoring and eliminating CSAM.

      Taking Elon at his word when it comes to Twitter policy is a rube's game.

    2. shza Member

      Bots are good when they "vote" to bring Trump back on Twitter though, right?

    3. chasgoose Guest

      No this is a real person account. If you read OMAAT you would know that. Elon even offered the person behind it like $5k to take it down and the owner of the account refused.

      That guy should have asked for $43 billion. It would have been good savings for Elon.

  25. derek Guest

    The guy should have accepted the offer while he was ahead. Elon Musk offered him some sort of payment.

    1. Bart Guest

      Clearly, keeping the account was more valuable than the $5k he was offered. More financial sense for Elon to have accepted the kids $50k + internship counteoffer, since he is going to come out a bigger loser in the end.

  26. Lee Guest

    Free speech absolutist . . . when it's convenient.

    1. Lee Guest

      Owners of private aircraft can block tracking on FlightAware.

    2. MiniMe Guest

      You can track it on ADBS Exchange.

      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a835af

      It's 100% Public, and the code used to push it to various channels is open source
      https://github.com/Jxck-S/plane-notify

      The only way to stop this would be for the FAA to issue a ruling. Or perhaps Elon should fly commercial

    3. 1234 Guest

      He could also just use a fractional fleet (e.g. NetJets). He doesn't have to fly commercial to solve this. This is all enabled by insistence on using a single plane he owns, and has whatever customizing to his liking is onboard.

  27. Michael_FFM Member

    In related news, Elon’s obvious genius in managing Twitter has a halo effect on Tesla. There was an article in a German magazine today, that people stated they are less likely to buy a Tesla because of Elon’s antics. We will see how that develops, but if sales really doesn’t grow as much as before, that will be no good news for Tesla’s stock, and Elon’s position on the number 2 spot of the world’s richest persons list.

    1. JP Guest

      Well...he's run multiple companies into the ground before, what makes it an impossibility that he could also run Tesla and Twitter into the ground?

      With other companies now making EVs as well which offers much better driving experience (instead of just go fast in a straight line), along with much better reliability, the value proposition of getting a Tesla is much much less.

    2. MiniMe Guest

      You can track it on ADBS Exchange.

      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a835af

      It's 100% Public, and the code used to push it to various channels is open source
      https://github.com/Jxck-S/plane-notify

      The only way to stop this would be for the FAA to issue a ruling. Or perhaps Elon should fly commercial

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Not Lucky Guest

Face it - this billionaire snowflake has no interest in free speech - he simply wants to control the media narrative to match his own perspectives and suit his own interests. And he owns Twitter, so he can do what he wants and the rest of us can whine about it and it doesn't matter. There is nothing new about the money controlling the narrative, unfortunately.

16
David Diamond

Blink twice if someone forced you to click into this article.

15
Lee Guest

Free speech absolutist . . . when it's convenient.

14
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
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