Freedom of speech much? Elon Musk makes Twitter shadowban account that tracked his private jets- Technology News, Firstpost

The popular Twitter handle, ElonJet, which tracked the movement of Elon Musk’s private jets has apparently been given a shadowban by Twitter upon Elon Musk’s insistence and is being algorithmically pushed down. The revelation was made by Jack Sweeney, the person behind the jet tracking account.

Freedom of speech much Elon Musk makes Twitter shadowban account that tracked Musk's private jets

Elon Musk had previously stated that Twitter will never shadowban any account, just the problematic content that it posts, and will only ban accounts if things go too far. It seems that he has asked Twitter to shadowban the account “@ElonJet” which tracked his jets.
Image Credit: AFP

Sweeney took to Twitter to accuse the social media platform of suppressing the automated account. In a thread Sweeney dubbed, “My Twitter Files,” he claimed an anonymous Twitter employee informed him that his “ElonJet” account was “visibility limited/restricted to a severe degree internally” on December 2.

He also shared what appeared to be an internal Twitter message from Ella Irwin, Twitter’s new head of Trust and Safety, requesting that ElonJet be subjected to “heavy VF (visibility filtering).

In an interview with Business Insider, Sweeney said that he had suspected for a while that his organic reach had gone down substantially, ever since Musk took over Twitter. He also said that now he suspected that his account “ElonJet” was definitely search banned/ search suggestion banned and that the Twitter employee who revealed the shadowban only confirmed his suspicion.

For those who are not aware of what shadowbanning is, it is the practice adopted by social media platforms, to suppress certain accounts by making their posts not show up on their follower’s feed, and by making it difficult for other users to look for a specific account. This is mainly done when an account or a profile hasn’t done anything to warrant a proper ban but is problematic enough to the platform that they would like to suppress them.

Hypocritically, Elon Musk has publicly criticized the practice of shadowbanning and said that Twitter is working on a feature that will clearly show users when they’ve been shadow banned. He has also said that Twitter will only shadowban tweets that are problematic, and has implied that accounts and profiles will never be shadowbanned.

What is more hypocritical on Musk’s part is the fact that he often shadowbans users and accounts that poke holes in his stories, especially with the ongoing Twitter Files series that he is getting published. Musk had previously said he wouldn’t ban the Twitter account because of his free-speech commitments, but you will often see Twitter banning accounts that don’t agree with him and go on the offensive to call out some of the statements that he makes.

Earlier this year, Musk had taken issue with the account before he bought Twitter, accusing it of being a security risk. He even offered Sweeney a pretty handsome amount to buy it from him. Sweeney operates more than 30 plane-tracking accounts that share publicly available data. Many of the accounts track billionaires, including Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates. His idea is to basically call out the virtue signalling that most wealthy people indulge in when it comes to climate change and environmentalism.

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