Elon Musk bans Twitter account dedicated to tracking his jet

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Twitter, which is now headed by Elon Musk, banned more than 25 accounts that have used publicly available data to track private jet flights. Among the banned accounts was a page dedicated to following Musk’s own private jet, a Gulfstream 650ER registered as N628TS. 

The bans were handed out on December 14, 2022, after Twitter suddenly changed its privacy policy to include rules regarding the sharing of live locations. “Live location information, including information shared on Twitter directly or links to 3rd-party URL(s) of travel routes, actual physical location, or other identifying information that would reveal a person’s location, regardless if this information is publicly available,” the site’s new policy read.  

Twitter’s policy did not include any information regarding location as of December 13, 2022, Wayback Machine records showed.  

Under a tweet by Elon Musk, the social media site’s users added context that “publishing records is protected under the First Amendment”, citing a case from 1979. Then, the United States (US) Supreme Court “unanimously struck down a West Virginia statute making it a crime for a newspaper to publish the name of a juvenile offender without a written order from the court”, according to a site dedicated to educating the public about the First Amendment. 

“It is one in a line of rulings upholding what is sometimes called the Daily Mail principle, establishing that the news media cannot be punished for disseminating lawfully obtained truthful information,” the explanation continued.  

The account, formerly known as @ElonJet, was banned alongside a number of other accounts tracking private jets of many known business personas, such as Jeff Bezos, the Executive Chairman of Amazon, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, and an account tracking the activity of planes belonging to Russian oligarchs.  

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