Twitter has banned @ElonJetthe popular bot account that tracked CEO Elon Musk’s plane, days after the account owner accused the social media platform of shadow cursing it.
When you navigate to the account now, the message “Account suspended: Twitter suspends accounts that violate the Twitter rules.”
Over the weekend, Jack Sweeney, a freshman at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and the operator of the account, claimed that an anonymous Twitter employee had told him that the company had severely limited the visibility of @ElonJet from 2 December. The reported move came about four weeks after Musk made a big deal about how he wouldn’t ban @ElonJet because of his “commitment to free speech.”
On Monday, Sweeney said it appeared Twitter had done so reverse course and restored @ElonJet’s visibility. However, it appears the company changed its mind again and took an even more drastic step early Wednesday morning, when some users noticed that @ElonJet was suspended.
Suspending an account even after he promised not to would be nothing new for Musk, whose interpretation of “free speech” has been all over the place, causing chaos on Twitter.
Back in January, Musk the student told via DM that he would give him $5,000 to remove the account because it was a “security risk.” Sweeney turned down Musk’s offer, but said he would consider taking down the @ElonJet for $50,000 and an internship at one of the tech billionaire’s companies. In response, Musk blocked Sweeney on Twitter. Months later, after Musk announced his intention to buy Twitter, Sweeney said he had made contingency plans to keep the bot active on other platforms in case @ElonJet disappeared on the blue bird app. Loyal @ElonJet fans need not worry. You can still track America’s most notorious tech billionaire Instagram, Facebookand Telegram.
Gizmodo reached out to Sweeney Wednesday morning for comment on @ElonJet’s suspension, but did not hear back by press time. Twitter no longer has a communications department to contact for comment.