Twitter is now suspending accounts that share other people’s current locations, a month after CEO Elon Musk said he wouldn’t ban an account tracking his personal jet to demonstrate his “commitment to free speech.”
Musk also announced that he’s pursuing legal action against the roughly-20-year-old creator of that account, Jack Sweeney, as well as “organizations who supported harm to my family.”
According to Twitter, the new rules cut down “risk of physical harm” while allowing for posts that share “someone else’s historical (not same-day) location.”
As Musk announced the new restrictions Wednesday night, he claimed that a car in Los Angeles was stopped and harassed by a stalker who thought he was inside. He posted a video apparently showing the stalker and their car’s license plate. It’s not clear whether the alleged incident had anything to do with the jet-tracking account.
Sweeney, its creator, told New York Times reporter Ryan Mac that about 30 of his accounts were suspended. The young developer ran a slew of accounts tracking government aircraft and billionaires’ jets.
Musk previously offered Sweeney $5,000 to stop tracking his jet, Protocol reported, saying he doesn’t “love the idea of being shot by a nutcase.” When Sweeney made a counter-offer of $50,000, Musk reportedly stopped responding.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO acquired Twitter in October while promising to allow a broader range of “free speech.” Shortly after the deal closed, he tweeted that his “commitment” to free speech extended to the jet-tracking account, “even though that is a direct personal safety risk.”
Some Twitter users pointed out the hard reversal of Musk’s pledge as evidence of a flexible, self-centered stance on free speech. He faced similar criticism last month when he announced a new ban on “impersonation” accounts after several celebrities made their accounts into lookalikes of his own.