According to this report via Business Insider (see also the Tweets posted below), it looks like Elon Musk has secretly attempted to “shadowban” (i.e. censor) a popular Twitter account called @ElonJet, which tracks the movements of Musk’s private jet in real time using publicly-available data. The creator of this automated account is a super-smart and charismatic college student, Jack Sweeney, and as of today, his @ElonJet account has over 518,000 followers. (As an aside, Sweeney attends the University of Central Florida, where I have been teaching since 2014.) About a year ago, if I recall correctly, Musk had DM’d Sweeney and offered him $5,000 to stop tracking his private jet, while Sweeney countered with $50,000. (See here, for example.) So, how much does Musk value his privacy? Rather than cough up the $50,000 or bargain with Sweeney in good faith, in January of 2022 the world’s richest man ghosted the student and began buying shares of Twitter instead. (See here.) Coincidence?
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