In an unsurprising move, Elon Musk deletes the Twitter account tracking his private jet, despite having posted just the opposite.
Ever since the controversial billionaire took control of Twitter, he has boasted that the platform would be a beacon of free speech. Just last month, he posted, “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.” Yet, Jack Sweeney’s account has been slapped with the dreaded “suspended” label, raising plenty of questions about Musk’s commitment to free speech after all.
At just 20 years old, Sweeney has been making headlines around the globe for what has amounted to trolling Musk. Accessing information readily available to the public, the Florida college student has used a Twitter bot to post whenever Musk’s Gulfstream flew in or out of an airport.
What’s Twitter’s reasoning behind the suspension? There’s not much of one, apparently. CNN reported that Sweeney was given a simple, vague statement, “After careful review, we determined your account broke the Twitter rules. Your account is permanently suspended.”
However, Sweeney’s efforts are still alive. He continues his quest to keep track of Musk’s whereabouts with a Facebook page, Elon Musk’s Jet. In fact, the efforts to shut down the tracking could prove to be an unintentional public relations campaign for Sweeney’s FB page.
Of course, the Twitter deletion wasn’t altogether unexpected. Reddit had predicted the permanent suspension was imminent just days prior.
It’s not exactly unheard of for Musk to ban someone trolling him. Not long after taking charge of Twitter and declaring that “comedy is now legal on Twitter,” he blacklisted parody accounts mocking his free speech claims.
It’s hard to believe there was a time when Musk was the world’s favorite eccentric billionaire. He was lauded as a genius inventor and businessman, whose wealth and accolades launched him to celebrity status. He made guest appearances in movies and television, such as Iron Man 2 and an episode of Rick and Morty. Just last year, he was named TIME’s Person of the Year, with the publication recognizing him as the single person with the most influence on planet Earth in 2021.
These days, it’s the polar opposite, thanks largely to his questionable decisions since taking over Twitter. In October, his $44 billion bid to purchase Twitter was approved, and he touted free speech for all on the social media platform. Soon thereafter, the controversies started rolling in. From mass layoffs at Twitter headquarters to reinstating some 12,000 previously banned figures, most notably ex-President Donald Trump, the general public has seemingly had enough of Musk.