On Wednesday evening, Elon Musk announced that he plans to take legal action against the college student who runs a Twitter account that tracks his private jet after a “crazy stalker” followed a vehicle that was transporting Musk’s son, the Associated Press reported.
Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old college sophomore and programmer, started the account on social media, @ElonJet, to post every time Musk’s plane takes off or lands using publicly available flight-tracking information.
“Last night, car carrying lil X in LA was followed by crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood,” Musk tweeted, referring to his son, X Æ A-12.
“Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family,” he added.
Musk posted a video of the alleged stalker and asked users if anyone recognized him or the vehicle he was driving.
— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)
The Los Angeles Police Department told the New York Post police do not have any information regarding the incident.
The account, which has more than 500,000 followers, was suspended Wednesday morning and then briefly reactivated before being suspended again on Wednesday evening. Sweeney’s personal account was also suspended for violating Twitter’s rules “against platform manipulation and spam.”
According to Musk, live tracking of someone’s whereabouts poses a safety risk and will no longer be tolerated on the social media platform.
“Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info,” Musk wrote. “Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok.”
Sweeney also runs several other Twitter accounts tracking the flight information of public figures, including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Russian oligarchs. The flight-tracking accounts also report fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Since Musk’s announcement, those accounts have been suspended.
Shortly after purchasing Twitter, Musk stated that he was committed to promoting free speech on the platform, even if it meant allowing @ElonJet to continue posting his location information.
“My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk,” Musk stated at the time.
Sweeney stated that Musk made a mistake by going back on his promise to keep his account up.
“He really is asking for it because it’s just going to get worse in the news,” Sweeney told the New York Post. “He’s going to be called a full-on hypocrite.”