Elon Musk says he won’t ban the Twitter account that tracks his jet due to his commitment to free speech. He previously offered the owner $5,000 to take it down.

Elon Musk.

Elon Musk.Addresses Latif/Reuters

  • Elon Musk said he will not ban the Twitter account that tracks his private jet.

  • Musk offered the account owner, Jack Sweeney, $5,000 to take it down.

  • Sweeney thanked Musk and told Insider he would still be willing to negotiate a new deal to remove him.

Elon Musk said Sunday that he will not ban the Twitter account that tracks the travel of his private jet because of his free speech principles.

The account @ElonJet, run by 20-year-old college student Jack Sweeney, access publicly available air traffic data to share updates on when and where the jet takes off and lands and how long the trips last. Sweeney keeps more than 30 jet-tracked accounts.

Musk previously offered Sweeney $5,000 to take down the account and asked for advice on how to make his jet less trackable, Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton reported in January. Sweeney previously told Insider that he turned down the offer because he had put a lot of work into the account and got too much satisfaction out of doing it, saying he would need $50,000 to give it up. Last month, Musk appeared to start using a new privacy program suggested to him by Sweeney that helps block jet tracking.

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Musk, who finally took over Twitter on October 27, has been sharing updates on his plans for the platform. I tweet On Sunday, he said he would not close Sweeney’s account.

“My commitment to free speech even helps not to ban the account after my flight, even though that is a direct personal safety risk,” Musk wrote.

Sweeney told Insider in a phone interview Sunday that he was “glad” that Musk addressed his account but was not surprised by his decision.

“I realized that was his position because if he wasn’t there people would be after him for saying one thing and then coming and banning my account,” said Sweeney, who is a fan of Musk. “It’s still cool to see that he actually said something and acknowledged my account.”

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Sweeney said he was surprised Musk even mentioned it at all, adding that the tweet likely brought additional attention to his account. He added that Musk may have mentioned it to draw negative attention to the account, adding that in the past Tesla fans had criticized him and accused him of endangering the billionaire.

Sweeney said he hasn’t communicated with Musk since January — when Musk told him he didn’t feel right paying to remove the account — but would still be open to a deal to reduce it.

he too answered to Musk directly in a tweet, thanking him for his commitment to free speech, adding that “the fans on my account are incredibly supportive and appreciative of your efforts.” Jam said He criticizes the use of his account to track Musk down or to search for him personally.

As far as banning accounts, Musk has decided to do so for other reasons: In another tweet on Sunday, Musk said Twitter would be “permanently suspending” accounts for impersonations after some blue check verified users tested the company’s content moderation policies by changing their display names to “Elon Musk.”

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It appeared to be comedian Kathy Griffin’s account suspended after she changed her display name and photo to match Musk and tweeted: “Hey plaintiffs and activists. Want to see real activism? Watch this. RT w/ #VoteBlue.” There seemed to be other accounts suspended after the name Musk and tweet things like “my wife left me” and “There’s nothing better than waking up and enjoying a fresh, steaming cup of my own urine.”

“Going forward, any Twitter handle engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” Musk saidadding that users were previously warned before suspension.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment about the accounts or the decision to suspend them for impersonations.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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