Teen who tracked Elon Musk's private jet on Twitter 'has been shadowbanned'
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Featured Image Credit: @jxcksweeney / Twitter / Apex MediaWire / Alamy Stock Photo
A Twitter user who tracks the journeys made by a private jet belonging to Elon Musk claims his account was 'shadowbanned'.
For those unfamiliar with shadowbanning, it means significantly reducing access to an account without outright booting them off the platform.
You won't ban them completely, but barely anyone sees the account and the content to the point that it's almost as though they have been banned.
Tracking planes on social media is a pretty popular pastime, especially where celebrities are involved.
People love devotedly pouring through flight data to identify the private jet which may or may not be carrying the subject of their adoration.
Then again, the most popular flight being tracked is thought to be a US Air Force plane constantly patrolling the Black Sea so it can observe the conflict following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Twitter user Jack Sweeney runs the account @ElonJet, which uses publicly available data to follow the movements of the Tesla CEO's private plane as it flies around.
More than half a million people follow the account, which tracks all sorts of details about the journey including the route taken, how much money would have been spent on fuel for the flight and the carbon emissions produced.
Sweeney posted on his personal Twitter account that he was 'about to release my own Twitter files', going on to claim that his account tracking Musk's private jet had been altered.
He posted a screenshot claiming he had been sent it from an 'anonymous Twitter employee' which appeared to show a Twitter staff member telling her team to 'please apply heavy VF to @elonjet immediately'.
In this case VF stands for visibility filtering, essentially a way for the social media site to remove ways people might see the Twitter account in question so their tweets don't pop up on people's feeds and it's hard to search for them on the site.
The teen also said the anonymous Twitter employee who supplied him with the screenshot confirmed his account had been 'visibility limited/restricted to a severe degree internally'.
Sweeney set up the account back in 2020 when he wrote code which transferred Musk's flight data to an account which auto published tweets.
Jack was previously banned from Facebook, being told back in September that his page on that social media site tracking the same information 'violates Facebook Pages terms'.
However, the page now appears to be back up and running again, so it seems as though Jack was able to successfully appeal the decision.
UNILAD has contacted Twitter for comment.