An account whose sole purpose is to track Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s private jet is back on the blue bird app nearly two weeks after Musk changed the rules to kick it off the platform. Whether it will manage to stay on the platform Musk rules with an iron fist is an open question.
In recent days, 20-year-old university student Jack Sweeney launched @ElonJetNextDay on Twitter, an account that posts public information on the flights made by Musk’s plane. Unlike Sweeney’s original @ElonJet account, which was designed to track the billionaire’s jet in real-time, @ElonJetNextDay tweets out Musk’s flights 24 hours after they occur to comply with Twitter’s new rules prohibiting posts with real-time location information.
As of Monday evening, @ElonJetNextDay had tweeted about five of Musk’s flights since Dec. 23 and amassed more than 17,100 followers in four days. Sweeney told Insider that he is currently posting to @ElonJetNextDay manually but is working on automating the account in the future. The 20-year-old manages automated accounts for @ElonJet on Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, and other platforms, which do post real-time information on Musk’s flights.
Although Sweeney’s new @ElonJetNextDay has managed to stay on Twitter for the past four days, that doesn’t guarantee it safety from suspension. On Dec. 25, Sweeney claimed that Musk had already shadowbanned @ElonJetNextDay. In addition, Mashable reporter Matt Binder found that Twitter had prohibited users from sharing links to @ElonJet on other platforms.
Gizmodo confirmed Binder’s finding on Monday. When we tried to tweet out links to @ElonJet on Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, and Mastodon, we received an error message and weren’t allowed to post the tweet.
“We can’t complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful. Visit our Help Center to learn more,” the message read, although it didn’t include a link to where we could learn more.
Furthermore, it’s unclear whether Sweeney is even allowed to create new Twitter accounts. Twitter policy forbids “ban evasion,” which prohibits users whose accounts were suspended from creating new accounts. Twitter will suspend accounts that attempt to evade bans “at first detection.”
“If an account has been permanently suspended for severe violations of the Twitter Rules, Twitter reserves the right to also permanently suspend any other account we believe the same account holder or entity may be operating in violation of our earlier suspension, regardless of when the other account was created,” the company states in its Help Center.
Twitter no longer has a communications department to contact for comment.
Meanwhile, Musk—who banned Sweeney’s original @ElonJet account, his personal Twitter account, and his other celebrity flight trackers—hasn’t made his position on @ElonJetNextDay known yet. One might say that Sweeney’s new account is in the clear judging by Musk’s past statements on Twitter’s new policy.
“Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok,” the Twitter CEO tweeted on Dec. 14.
Yet, you can’t exactly take Musk at his word when it comes to the account that tracks his private plane, which he has disliked for a long time. On Nov. 6, the Twitter CEO said that he wouldn’t ban @ElonJet, citing his “commitment to free speech.” Musk changed his mind a month later, permanently suspending all of Sweeney’s accounts and stating he was taking legal action against Sweeney for facilitating “harm to my family.”
The harm Musk is referring to is an alleged incident that occurred on Dec. 13. That night, Musk claims that a “crazy stalker” followed a car carrying his 2-year-old son, X, in Los Angeles. The billionaire added that the driver purportedly blocked the car carrying his son from leaving and jumped on the hood. Musk announced new Twitter rules banning the sharing of real-time location information and suspended Sweeney’s flight tracking accounts after the incident.
However, last week police in South Pasadena cast doubt on Musk’s claims that his son was followed by a stalker. In fact, police have not mentioned that a stalker was involved at all and suggested that what occurred could have been a coincidence. They also could not confirm that Musk’s son was in the car, although the investigation is ongoing.