Elon Musk has threatened to take legal action against a Twitter account that tracked his private jet after a “crazy stalker” attacked a car carrying his son.
The 51-year-old billionaire wrote on the social media platform that he would be taking legal action against Jack Sweeney, a college student and programmer, who started the @elonjet flight tracking account.
“Last night, the car carrying baby X in Los Angeles was followed by a crazed stalker (thinking it was me), who later stalled the car and climbed onto the hood,” Moss he wrote.
“A lawsuit is ongoing against Sweeney and the organizations that claimed damages to my family.”
It came shortly after Mr Sweeney’s @elonjet account, which has more than 526,000 followers, was suspended from Twitterdespite Musk’s pledge to keep it that way due to his principles of free speech.
We also announced a new rule for all users: no more sharing anyone’s current location.
“Any account that doxxi anyone’s real-time location information will be suspended, as this is a physical security breach,” Musk tweeted.
“Doxxing” refers to the online disclosure of someone’s identity, address or other personal details.
free speech? Musk is ‘doing the opposite’
It’s unclear what legal action Musk could take against Mr. Sweeney over an account that automatically posted public flight information.
“He said this is free speech and he is doing the opposite,” the 20-year-old said, describing waking up to a flood of messages from people who saw that @elonjet had been suspended.
Started in 2020 when Mr. Sweeney was a teenager, the account automatically posted Gulfstream jet flights with a map and an estimate of how much jet fuel and carbon emissions were consumed.
Subsequently, his personal account was also suspended, with a message claiming he violated Twitter’s rules “against platform manipulation and spam”.
$5,000 for account removal
Last year, the University of Central Florida student said Musk sent him a private message offering $5,000 (£4,036) to close the jet tracking account, citing security concerns.
But after buying Twitter for $44bn (£35.8bn) in late October, Musk said he would let him stay.
Mr. Sweeney also ran similar “bot” accounts that tracked other celebrities’ airplanes, such as those used by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and various Russian oligarchs.
For hours after the @elonjet account was suspended, the others were still active, but have now been blocked.
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Musk dumps 22 million Tesla shares
Meanwhile, Musk disclosed another $3.6 billion in Tesla stock sales Wednesday, bringing its total close to $40 billion this year.
A filing of US stocks showed it dumped 22 million shares of the world’s most valuable automaker over the past three days.
The sale is the second large chunk of stock it has cashed since its purchase of Twitter.
It’s unclear whether the sales are related to the Twitter acquisition, but they’re annoying investors who are upset by the perception that it’s shifting its focus to Twitter ahead of Tesla.