Twitter announces update to ‘Private Information’ policy – here’s why

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Hours after the microblogging outlet suspended multiple accounts that track private jets, Twitter safety announced an update to its Private Information Policy on Wednesday, according to the news agency Bloomberg.

The social media company said that it will remove any tweets or accounts that share someone’s live location going forward. It pointed out that such information can increase the risk of physical harm to the user.

As per the new policy, any content that shares the “location information related to a public engagement or event” will not be impacted by the changes.

“First-time offenders will be temporarily locked out of their account and another offense will cause a user’s account to be permanently suspended. Any accounts dedicated to sharing a person’s live location will be permanently suspended,” it said, as quoted by Bloomberg News.

This came after a Twitter Inc account tracking the movements of Elon Musk’s private jet has been suspended from the social media platform.

As of early Wednesday morning in New York, the @elonjet page showed a message that read “account suspended” with an explanation that Twitter suspends accounts that violate the platform’s rules. Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in late October.

Musk and representatives for Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Jack Sweeney, who has run the account since June 2020, told Bloomberg News that, upon logging into the account, his Twitter platform stated: “Your account is permanently suspended. After careful review we determined your account broke the Twitter rules. Your account is permanently in read-only mode.”

Sweeney, a student at the University of Central Florida, said he hasn’t received any other notices from Twitter via email or other mediums.

“Musk literally said he wouldn’t do anything because he protects free speech, but this is the exact opposite,” Sweeney said by phone.

The account tracks the movements of Musk’s private jet using publicly available flight data and gives automated alerts.

Last month, Musk said in a tweet that his commitment to free speech “extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.”

Sweeney operates other automated accounts through a business called Ground Control, including accounts that follow celebrity jets and one that purports to track planes used by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other government officials.

 

(With Bloomberg inputs)

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