a student’s brilliant snub of Elon Musk’s censorship
ElonJet tracked the billionaire’s private jet flights in near real time. Censored by Twitter at the request of Elon Musk, for security reasons, the account is reborn from its ashes and introduces a small delay, so that the information remains accessible to everyone.
@ElonJet is dead! Long live @ElonJetNextDay! Jack Sweeney, 20-year-old student and creator of the Twitter account, which showed the movements of Elon Musk’s private jet, has repeatedly been guilty. But this time, and as the name of the new account suggests, it shows movements with a delay of… 24 hours.
Any account doxxing anyone’s real-time location information will be suspended, as this is a physical breach of security. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location information.
Posting the locations someone has been to a bit late isn’t a safety problem, so it’s ok.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 15, 2022
In a tweet published on December 15, Elon Musk said: “Any account that posts a person’s real-time location will be suspended, as this is a physical breach of security. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location information. » The billionaire continued: “Publishing a location someone’s been to with a certain lag isn’t a security issue, so that’s ok”.
Obviously, the tweets touched on the risk of seeing the @SantaTracker account blocked, which follows the movements of Santa Claus in real time during the night of December 24 to 25. Because it’s all very serious.
However, four points can be countered in Elon Musk’s argument for his particular case. First of all, it’s not completely real time. Second, that the data indicates the position of an aircraft, in accordance with aviation regulations and not of a person – the jet can fly empty or with another person. Then, that data is publicly and legally available – even though Elon Musk paid certain platforms that made this data available so it’s no longer available. Moreover, before the @ElonJet account was censored, Elon Musk offered $5,000 to its owner to stop his activity. Finally, and most importantly, Elon Musk promised in November not to ban this account as part of his commitments to freedom of expression.
Because, Elon Musk is for freedom of expression, unless this freedom of expression does not suit him. Which is to say that Elon Musk is not for freedom of expression, you understand. An elasticity of principle that puts him squarely in a very unsympathetic category made up of billionaires, extremists of all stripes, and somewhat deplorable autocrats.
Unsuspend accounts that doxxed my exact location in real-time
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 16, 2022
Not only Elon Musk censored the account that published information about the movement of his private jet, but also the journalists who echoed this case. He has since reversed these bans after a Twitter poll confirmed to him that a majority of over three million voters wanted them reinstated immediately. A rather simplistic view of direct democracy and above all freedom of expression, therefore.
The new @ElonJetNextDay account is in any case a good way to see that the guy promoting the switch to electric cars to reduce pollution isn’t worried about the pollution of his own plane. While waiting to find a way to automate publications with a lag, Jack Sweeney will take care of publishing them manually. Perhaps not so much because the information is valuable, but because would-be tyrants need to be reminded that they are not above the fray, even on a private jet.