back to article Musk bans private-plane-tracking @Elonjet on Twitter, threatens legal action

Twitter has suspended an account dedicated to tracking Elon Musk's private jet trips using public flight data – a month after the world's second-richest man said his "commitment to free speech" prevented him from doing so.  The account, @elonjet, was suspended yesterday, along with the personal account of its owner, Jack …

  1. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Selective Fury

    He blocked @ElonJet but left the account tracking Jeff Bezos' aircraft, run by the same person, up. *GASP*

    I muted his muskness on Twitter. My feed has never looked so good, but I understand that is temporary. He'll undoubtedly unmute his account because what he has to say is important.

    I think I'll give MySpace another go.

    1. Helcat

      Re: Selective Fury

      I thought he'd blocked those tracking others, such as Bezo, Zuckerberg and even Gates, too: Applying the same rule for everyone, not just himself.

      But could be wrong: Don't do the twitter thing so can't check. Mostly just puzzled as to why anyone thought real time tracking was a good thing considering the dangers of doing so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Selective Fury

        Which dangers?

        If you're able to aim a missile using such vague references (as I have seen some moron claim online), there's a country bordering on Russia that would really welcome your insight.

        1. Helcat

          Re: Selective Fury

          How about the report of someone using the data to get to the airport where the plane landed and follow the car that left, intercepting it, stopping it, then jumping on the bonnet?

          How about that the airports used by smaller, private planes don't have the same level of security so it's easier for someone to simply climb over the fence to gain access to the airport/runway/hangers?

          That's what is supposedly behind the response from Musk: That he believes the information was used by a 'stalker' to track the plane, see what car the passengers got into and follow it.

          How true any of this is can be debated, as can why such a claim wasn't reported to the police, but there are excuses all around for that. The question is: Is this plausible and if so, what are the risks associated and yes, there are potentially risks, including violent confrontation hence it's a real danger.

          How probable it is that such a thing occurs... well, allegedly it's happened and with the wrong person as the target.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Selective Fury

            Even then Musk should act against the mechanism that makes the information public, but it is, of course, easier to bully someone on Twitter than going against the FAA. In addition, flight plans are mandatory and nowadays you can even get a live airfield ATX feed online so you cn even know exactly when the plane lands and even where it has been directed to, only a few countries have banned that (probably on the argument that it's pretty impossible to police anyway).

            He's a bully, and an idiot at that. He wants to have lots of fans without the drawbacks that that brings - well, welcome to the real world.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Selective Fury

      And lots of free PR for altermative platforms.

  2. 41R

    Elon went full retard. Stalker followed car so he suspended plane-tracking account...

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Well, if you give a kid such a name you have lost your mind. You should be forced to live under such a name as a ten year old in a regular school.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        His daddy is the <cough>second</cough> richest person in the world. People that know the kid probably don't care...

        Right now I'd say daddy would be a bigger liability than an unusual name.

        1. Joe W Silver badge

          I don't know why, but I thought it was a girl's name. Meh. Don't care.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Me too.

            I suspect it's because of the strong association of the ae dipthong with the feminine 1st declension from Latin (fem sing dative, genitive and plural nominative). My assumption would be that you are well educated and/or well read. And that Musk isn't.

            1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

              Re: Me too.

              "Go home" is motion towards, isn't it, boy?

        2. phuzz Silver badge

          They could be named John or Jane, but their surname would still be Musk, and that's why kids will bully them at school.

          Growing up with famous parents can't be fun, the kid has my sympathies for that.

          1. teebie

            I think it's pronounced 'Kyle'

            The X at the starts of the name represents the greek letter χ (chi). And there are 2-3 other bits of bullshit that go into the name.

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      I've been wondering when Elon would give us another shot at Musk-bashing. Musk doesn't disappoint.

      it's perfectly reasonable for Elon to be pissed off. Crazies jumping around on the hood of your car is a bit much. Not quite in the same class as breaking into the US capital and trying to lynch to vice-president. But way beyond reasonable expression of divergent viewpoints and something he shouldn't have to put up with.

      But Musk's response ... Wildly inappropriate.

      What an ordinary person or even an unstable genius would likely do is to get the stalker's license plate number and file a complaint with the local police. Then, if the jerk continued to harass, get one of the legal staff to request a restraining order requiring the dude to stay about three kilometers distant from Musk's location as tracked on Twitter. No, nothing that conventional. Instead we'll just make a random attack on the wrong guy.

      This guy REALLY needs adult supervision.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Crazies jumping around on the hood of your car

        Alledgedly.

        There is no proof provided as of now.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: There is no proof provided as of now.

          But they are banning people who point out there was no police report of an incident: https://www.techdirt.com/2022/12/15/thursday-night-purge-elon-musks-twitter-bans-tons-of-high-profile-journalists/

          1. Helcat

            Re: There is no proof provided as of now.

            Police reports may not be filed if the person believes the report will be abused.

            If the belief is the police will respond with an excessive demand of access to electronic equipment (mobile phones, laptops etc) that might compromise business dealings, personal communications and simile, then perhaps the response will be not to file a report. There is also the question of if anything gets done: This could be seen as a personal dispute, not a criminal matter.

            Note: This is down to the belief of the person, not what would really happen. We can scoff at that belief, sure, but if that belief turns out to be accurate... it's not so funny for the person(s) involved.

            Anyway, in this instance Musk has said he's prosecuting, so there will be a court case to see if his allegations are correct. It could also be that he doesn't want this to go beyond a personal dispute, hence not wanting the police involved. But we can only sit and wait and learn. Like: Sweeny had admitted the data he was publishing isn't public: Musk had a PIA meaning Sweeny had to figure away around that to track the plane. That's not public information: That's private, and Sweeny is on record as admitting he knew this. Seems he was also tracking celebrities, too, some of whom are really not happy with what he's being doing.

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      "Elon went full retard." He has always been full retard, it's just that some refused to accept he is a total tw*t.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        total tweet?

    4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Coat

      "Elon went full retard"

      I believe the approved term is "Neuro-diverse"*

      *That's instead of, not in addition to.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Elon, you're a ...

    ...fucking hypocrite, completely untrustworthy, and in way over your head.

    Have fun!

    1. Trotts36

      Re: Elon, you're a ...

      Jilted safety team member in the house !

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Elon, you're a ...

        @Trotts36

        . Bless

      2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: Elon, you're a ...

        Ahahahahahaha.

        If you think @Jake ever had anything to do with his Muskiness, you've obviously never seen any of his other posts over pretty much all the time that El Reg has had a comments section.

        As far as can tell, @jake has been active in the world of IT since long before His Muskiness was even born.

        So your comment just smacks of desperate projection.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elon, you're a ...

      Please don't, he might try to buy El Reg and impose his "freedom" here too..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Elon, you're a ...

        With what money?

        :)

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "he might try to buy El Reg and impose his "freedom" here too.."

        Indeed.

        Musk's idea of "freedom" is starting to look a whole lot like The Golden Rule.

        However while the Gold lets you make the rules (in this little part of the universe) it does not mean that people have to like your rules or even (dare I suggest it) actively seek to work around them.

        Musk has achieved great things and I'm actually quite an admirer of those achievements.

        That does not excuse acting like an enormous Ahole.

        Donald Trump really does have that niche very well covered already.

        I sense a part of Musk wants to be universally loved but doesn't quite get the idea that if you speak carelessly and act agressively then you shouldn't expect everyone to love you 24/7.

        In fact you should either STFU or accept that some (possibly even the majority) of people who know of you think Musk --> Colosal Cockwomble.

        It never ceases to amaze me how someone with such a huge wad gets sooooo wound up over some stuff. My view would be more along the lines of "I have $170Bn in the bank. Do I look like I f**king care who knows where my plane is? Anyone actually getting that close will be meeting my personal security team who will encourage them to step back."

        Then again maybe it's his belief that he is beyond criticism and is offended that anyone believes they can still express any PoV that is not 100% +ve. Of course that would imply an ego the size of Jupiter.....

  4. DS999 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So it is terrible when his children are in danger

    But when some nutter doxxes election workers with baseless fraud claims, forcing them and their family to flee their house because people are protesting outside and calling at all hours with death threats, that's "free speech".

    Because people who did exactly that were among those reinstated by Musk because the "right wing was being silenced".

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: So it is terrible when his children are in danger

      But .... think of the children!

      Isn't that the line that is always used when somebody wants to bring in some rule (or law) that they want and they need a justification?

      -------> Best I could pick for starting a conspiracy theory!

      1. arctic_haze
        Childcatcher

        Re: So it is terrible when his children are in danger

        Well you used a wrong icon. Correcting it for you.

    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: So it is terrible when his children are in danger

      "Twitter’s head of trust and safety told the Verge: “Without commenting on any specific accounts, I can confirm that we will suspend any accounts that violate our privacy policies and put other users at risk.”"

      So why aren't all those accounts suspended? Leon Lyiong As Usiual.

    3. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: So it is terrible when his children are in danger

      No, no, no... you're mistaken here. He doesn't give two shits about his kids, the real problem is that Twitler himself was actually feeling like he might be in danger. This is a man who lied about the death of one of his kids from SIDS. He claimed that the child died in his arms and he felt the final heartbeat, only to have his first wife point out that she was the one holding the child as it died.

      I suppose it's possible his ex-wife is every bit the pathological liar he is, but right now we have multiple, easily confirmed, cases of Twitler lying vs no evidence that his ex-wife is a liar of the same caliber. When one of his children came out as trans and decided they wanted absolutely nothing more to do with him, to the point they were filing a lawsuit to have all legal ties between them severed, Twitler went out and claimed it was because that child had been brainwashed by the woke liberal leftists. A narcissist the level of Twitler doesn't care about anyone else.

    4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: So it is terrible when his children are in danger

      But when some nutter Elon doxxes election workers former Twitter employees with baseless fraud claims claims of supporting child sexual abuse...

      Shocking that Musk applies one rule to his own behavior and another to that of those he dislikes. Shocking.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So it is terrible when his children are in danger

        .. but wholly unsurprising ..

  5. Howard Sway Silver badge

    legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family

    What's this? Mr Free Speech Absolutist is attempting to use the state legal system to get revenge on someone who published freely available public information on his free speech platform? Didn't take long for the absolutist to become a relativist. @elonjet wasn't publishing the location of the car that "Lil X" was being ferried about in because World's Greatest Dad was too busy at work, so angrily calling the lawyers because he's mad due to something that happened due to a "crazy stalker" (as opposed to one of the sane ones, presumably) looks a bit like "rich guy gets angry, demands someone somewhere gets punished somehow". The only organisation that supported this alleged "harm to his family" was Twitter, where the plane tweets were published, so presumably he'll have to take legal action against himself.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family

      No doubt this is intended as a threat to anyone who dares challenge him in any way. The (former) richest man in the world can afford to bury you or I in legal bills from baseless lawsuits.

      I used to just dislike the guy, now I'm getting close to rooting for him to die in a Tesla battery fire or something. The planet would be better off without him.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family

        That's been my default viewpoint from the first time I installed a 'tesla wall connector'... nasty cheaply made non compliant piece of garbage it is.

        1. Winkypop Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family

          I’d genuinely like to know more about Tesla wall tech issues

          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Re: legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family

            No PEN fault detection, no built in RCD, and the most convoluted fixing system i've ever seen. Oh yeah, and weird non metric knockout sizes making glanding a cable into it somewhat tricky (although not impossible). For the price, which is MORE than some fully compliant chargers, i'd expect more

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family

          That's your fault for using a non Tesla compliant wall..

          :)

          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Re: legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family

            Or the customer was holding the plug wrong

      2. HereIAmJH

        Re: legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family

        The (former) richest man in the world can afford to bury you or I in legal bills from baseless lawsuits.

        I'm not really one to support Go Fund Me campaigns. I generally feel that people cause their own problems, and they should be responsible for finding their own solutions. But should there be a need for an @ElonJet defense fund, I'll likely contribute. This is just too bizarre. It's the jet that is being tracked, not the person who is (or is not) on it.

        And to think, a few short months ago I didn't have an opinion about Musk at all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family

          I'm hoping someone will anonymously publish simple code to add a "Track where Musk's plane is" button to any website, just to maximise the Streisand effect.

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Coat

        I am spartacus

        What if other sites popup that show the tracks of random aircraft?

        As we can see from software on Tesla vehicles, programmers are fallible, so it is entirely within the realms of probability that there is a flaw in the algorithm that selects the tail sign, and appears to favour certain ones, if not one particular one

  6. 45RPM Silver badge

    Ultimately, the best way to deal with this bell end is to…

    A) Ignore him

    B) Stop buying the shit he peddles. Luckily, there are usually better alternatives. Twitter? Mastodon. Tesla? Take your pick - we aren’t short of better alternatives anymore. SpaceX? Could be a problem - that does seem to be the best of his companies right now - but others are catching up. On the other hand, I’m not likely to purchase anything SpaceX has to offer.

    1. O RLY

      "I’m not likely to purchase anything SpaceX has to offer."

      Not directly, anyway. That said, I know there's a lot of fun stuff purchased with my taxes that I'd love to get to use that I didn't choose to buy.

    2. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

      I wish

      Upvoted you for sentiment - and yet forced to disagree.

      "Forced" because I rely on fast Internet and I live in regional Australia. Where another bunch of right-wing numpties screwed up our NBN, so Starlink is the only option I have right now. Unless someone sends me half a million dollars to lay fibre to my house (yes, that IS what NBN had the gall to quote me - I live 3 minutes from a fibre connected development and along a major thoroughway).

      Seeing as not even selling every kidney in this household would get me within coo-ee of affording the above, tearing off the dish on the roof and shoving it up some random orifice of that nutjob is not an option. Neither is slower Internet with 2 remote-working tech workers in the house.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's amazing how easily swayed morons can still support this idiot, as evidenced by the number of downvotes on the above comments (and sure to be on this one, too).

  8. Zolko Silver badge

    stalker

    Those who still want to track Elon's jet

    out of curiosity: WHY would anyone want to do that ? Seriously, what honest motive can be behind following, live, the track of a private person (and/or his personal vehicle) ? If someone would do that to me, I'd certainly be pissed-off and he certainly would have to count on any legal action I could take to prevent this. If I'm not mistaken, this is called stalking and is a crime, look at the Apple tracking devices and their legal troubles.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: stalker

      Elon's not a private person any more than any other celebretard is.

      Why would anyone want to do that? Same reason the National Enquirer or People Magazine exist ... page hits. It makes money, and it's not illegal. Note he's not tracking the induhvidual, he's tracking an airplane. And he's getting the info from already public sources. You or I could do exactly the same thing. In fact, I'm tempted to release a bit of code that ANYONE could paste into their Web page to do the exact same thing. I personally think hundreds of thousands of "Elon's plane is X here! And was -------X-----X----------X there!" pages would be a hoot at this stage of the game. :-)

      The Apple tracking devices have been multiple lawsuits in the making since they were released. Nobody with a clue is surprised by the outcome. But that's a whole nuther kettle o'worms, unrelated to what's going on in Elon's camp.

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
        Facepalm

        Re: stalker

        "I personally think hundreds of thousands of ... pages"

        I would also be amused to see the Streisand Effect in full swing, but not a hoot to actually see people waste their time setting all this up. Shirley Elon isn't worth our attention.

        Oh, wait, the time to write and edit this article; all of us posting and reading comments... We -- me included -- are giving his behavior attention anyway. IT'S A TRAP!

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        "Elon's not a private person any more than any other celebretard is."

        And that should be factored in.

        He stopped being a "private" person when he sold PayPal to Amazon and went on to found 3 $Bn corporations.

        What's that phrase about "The Public's right to know"?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: stalker

      > out of curiosity: WHY would anyone want to do that ?

      I was going to post exactly the same.

      Imagine the target was you or your children. Would you be happy with that? I know I wouldn't.

      I honestly don't understand that guy's motivation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: stalker

        You honestly don't understand anything...

        Guy's tracking PLANE, more precisely he tweets publicly available data... On the other hand, media, fans, followers (every cult leader has those), etc. are stalkers, they've been tracking famous people for over a century and nobody gave a shit

        1. Zolko Silver badge

          Re: stalker

          You honestly don't understand anything

          That from the person confounding following someone on "social media", and following the physical, geographical, whereabouts af said person.

          media, fans, followers

          Funny. Or sad, depending on the perspective

      2. M man

        Re: stalker

        Becuase its an extremely dirty form of transport.

        And the data show it is used disproprtiojally for short journeys.

        1. Jens Goerke

          Re: stalker

          Why doesn't he use one of his fully self-driving Teslas for those short distances?

          Is it because self-driving doesn't work and he can't afford to pay a driver or because the battery charge doesn't last that far?

          Or is it because his ego is so fragile that he has to show off his wealth at every opportunity?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: stalker

            Because the autopilot isn't?

        2. Helcat

          Re: stalker

          "Becuase its an extremely dirty form of transport.

          And the data show it is used disproprtiojally for short journeys."

          The data doesn't have to be real time for that, though, and that seems to be the issue: Real time tracking.

          I believe Musk said he didn't object to delayed publication, it's only the real time publication that he sees as a problem.

          So, is there a need to publish the plane's location in real time, or is hour old data fine? It's just risk analysis: What is the risk, and what is the benefit, and which is more important.

        3. Zolko Silver badge

          Re: stalker

          Becuase its an extremely dirty form of transport.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: stalker

        Imagine the target was you or your children.

        Should any of my children acquire a private jet, I don't think I'll be terribly worried if someone posts the already publicly available ATS-B information about it.

        I hardly ever use my private jet. My super-yacht's runway isn't long enough for it.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. YetAnotherXyzzy

      Re: stalker

      "If someone would do that to me, I'd certainly be pissed-off..."

      That's because you are a private person. When someone has a history of actively seeking publicity and attention, he can hardly complain when he gets it. Bonus points to @Elonjet for doing so using only publicly available information.

      1. Helcat

        Re: stalker

        "Bonus points to @Elonjet for doing so using only publicly available information."

        PIA means it wasn't public information (even if the base information was publicly available) and Sweeny admitted he had to code around the PIA to identify the plane. Hence what he was publishing was private information, even if the media claim that when Sweeny published it, it became public. Worse, Musk isn't the only person who obtained a PIA to hide their flight information who Sweeny was tracking, and it wasn't just business folk he was tracking: Celebrities were being tracked, too, meaning that efforts to have a little privacy are being thwarted by Sweeny.

        The more I'm learning about him and what he did, the less sympathy I have for him. Musk... is Musk - but that doesn't excuse anything.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: stalker

      out of curiosity: WHY would anyone want to do that ?

      Apart from what Jake and others have said, there are many people out there who's lives revolve around "following" their current celebutard and having a live feed of where they are and what they're doing is exactly the sort of thing many of them are doing every day.

      After all, isn't this one of the premier USPs of Twitter in the first place? Fans "follow" their "heroes" so they can vicariously "live a better life" and bask in the reflected glory by re-tweeting the missives of their "heroes" and increase their own follower count.

    5. HereIAmJH

      Re: stalker

      I think some of it was pointing out the hypocrisy of celebrities pushing Green agendas while flying around on private jets. It's not new, they said the same things about Al Gore.

      And it's not stalking because no one is tracking a person. Nor are they tracking his personal car. It's a jet that he controls that may or may not contain Elon Musk. These posts are just filtering public data. He could fly commercial, that would solve the 'problem'. He could charter a jet so the tail number wasn't associated with him or his businesses.

      Note that air traffic control is a public system paid for with public dollars. If the public has an interest in the byproducts, they have paid for it. Should police blotters be kept private because it might embarrass an accused criminal?

    6. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: stalker

      What this guy does is no different that what (for example) flightradar24.com does, and has been doing for years

      The ADS-B transponder output is a public broadcast that can be easily decoded by a middle-spec Raspberry Pi.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: stalker

      > If I'm not mistaken, this is called stalking and is a crime, look at the Apple tracking devices and their legal troubles.

      You are mistaken.

      It's not stalking, and it's not a crime.

      The data that the @elonjet account uses is public data - you or I can equally use it to track Elon's plane, or other flights.

      There's no way to know who's on the plane, in fact, the only thing you can definitively say is that there must be someone (the pilot) aboard.

      The crucial bit though, and why this is really newsworthy, is the hypocrisy coming from Musk. He previously said that the didn't agree with blocking any speech that was legal, and the only democratic way to deal with "problematic" speech was to have congress enact laws to deal with stuff there was sufficient opposition too.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: stalker

        "in fact, the only thing you can definitively say is that there must be someone (the pilot) aboard."

        Surely Musk has a Tesla autopilot!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: stalker

          I doubt it - the plane has made several successful flights..

    8. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: stalker

      " the track of a private person: Since whern has Lying Leon been one such?

    9. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: stalker

      out of curiosity: WHY would anyone want to do that ?

      Generally, it's to draw awareness to the number of flights being made by CEOs, their impact on the climate, the fact that in some cases they're using a private jet to hop barely 50miles. For someone like Musk who makes a living selling Teslas as "saving the planet", taking regular very-short-haul flights (lasting literally a few minutes) is a fairly hypocritical juxtaposition.

      If someone would do that to me, I'd certainly be pissed-off and he certainly would have to count on any legal action I could take to prevent this. If I'm not mistaken, this is called stalking and is a crime, look at the Apple tracking devices and their legal troubles.

      And you would laughed out of court - unless the case was being brought by a sentient jet who felt its human avine(?) right to privacy was being infringed. The offence of stalking requires a human victim. These accounts merely re-tweet whatever his jet is doing (he may or may not be aboard) and is public information which the jet itself broadcasts which can be viewed on FlightRadar24, ADSB-Exchange and other such sites.

      Aircraft are not entitled to privacy. They impose a noise and pollution burden on the airports they operate from. They impose various societal ills upon the general population - and of course there's always the possibility that a terrorist will fly them into something. So they are regulated. Publicly.

      1. Helcat

        Re: stalker

        Sorry tp point this out but you've said tracking these flights (the movement of the plane) "it's to draw awareness to the number of flights being made by CEOs" but "These accounts merely re-tweet whatever his jet is doing (he may or may not be aboard) "

        Might I suggest it helps indicate the impact on the climate the use of the jet has rather than on the flights the CEO takes as we can't know if the CEO is on the plane or not?

        And that still doesn't need real time reporting of the jet's location, which seems to be the problem here.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: stalker

      One interesting piece of information from the historical data seems to be that although Elon claims to have only been seen once in a photo with Ghislaine Maxwell because "she photobombed him" his plane somehow made it's way to Epstein's private island a few times. Of course a plane going somewhere doesn't mean anything specific- for all we know, the pilot just liked it there.

    11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Alert

      NASA Stalker App

      https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/tracking_map.cfm

      I wonder if Musk has ever accessed that. Think of the children of those astronauts

  9. Ol'Peculier

    Time to register

    iselonairbourne.com

    eloninthesky.com

    elonaway.com

    tintube-elcon.com... et al...

    and see how long the game lasts...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Publicly available ≠ public

    > As the information is freely and publicly available, anyone with the know-how could build a similar bot.

    It being "freely & publicly available" is purely by accident. ADS-B is a safety system, basically an evolution on mode C transponder, sending a lot more information than mode C, for the benefit of air traffic controllers and fellow airspace users.

    It is not encrypted in any way because that wasn't deemed necessary, so anyone with the correct receiver and decoder can listen in (which is however not always legal). It's a simple step from there to feeding that data to a server on the internet, polling it with that of other users, and the result is a site like radar24 or a bunch of others. They have convenient and helpful uses.

    But, the data itself is *not* public data, such as court or business records might be. This means that you do not have an intrinsic right to use it, much less to abuse it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Publicly available ≠ public

      He has every right to use it, it's not illegal, Elon just made it against Twitter's rules...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Publicly available ≠ public

        > He has every right to use it

        I wish you had read the post you're replying to. It says: "no intrinsic right" (as would be the case if this was public information, which, I repeat for the specially retarded, is not the same as publicly available information)

        > it's not illegal

        That is a different matter, and one that apparently will be decided in court.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Publicly available ≠ public

          Yeah, he's really lucky in courts :D

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Publicly available ≠ public

          Silly old fool that I am! I was always led to believe that English common law (and as exported to former colonies) primarily stated things you could not do (with a few relatively rare exceptions) . Ergo without legal instructions to the contrary, if the law says nothing then its legal. Obviously, in circumstances where Mr Musk are involved it's obvious the laws must be interpreted in his favour as he is such a wonderful man. As an aside; does the the mental health act have a US equivalent where you can apply to have some sectioned?

          1. First Light

            Re: Publicly available ≠ public

            Every individual state has individual involuntary commitment laws. In general, dangerousness used to be required for commitment, but just plain crazy is making a comeback these days. It's a thorny issue.

            https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/11/health/fuller-torrey-psychosis-commitment.html

            And here's way more info on it than you will probably ever want, but makes for an interesting (loooong) read:

            https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/civil-commitment-continuum-of-care.pdf

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Publicly available ≠ public

          one that apparently will be decided in court

          No, it won't be, since what Elon's threatening is a civil action.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Publicly available ≠ public

      As for taking the data and further disseminating it in a way that affects the privacy of specific, named individuals, I think that we can all agree that the ethics of doing that are questionable to say the least, even if on occasion there might be valid reasons for doing so.

      From a European perspective, we have laws that protect individual privacy and reputation. Those protections are relaxed somewhat when the individual concerned is what we call a "public figure". This essentially means elected officials, heads of state and so on. That is why for instance one can in some cases insult a head of state, even if the same the same act would be punishable if directed at a private individual. The goal is to strike a balance between someone's right to reputation and privacy, etc., and freedom of expression.

      Always from a European perspective, Musk would remain a private individual and the higher standard of protection applies.

      As for the US, I have no idea, but I thought I'd share the European point of view on these matters.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Publicly available ≠ public

        But this is not about Musk, it's about his plane...

        1. M man

          Re: Publicly available ≠ public

          SpaceXs plane you mean.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Publicly available ≠ public

          > But this is not about Musk, it's about his plane...

          Remember when Google Street view had licence plates in the clear for everyone to see?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Publicly available ≠ public

            That's not quite the same. There is no globally visible register (at least, not yet) where you can find the near live location of every car on which you can base an app that only shows the few you're interested in.

            I can sort of see Musk's issue here, but then he should go after the source, not after one person who makes use of it - for him, may others (hello Streisand effect). I can see asking for some delay of that information not being unreasonable with exceptions for those who need that data realtime for legitimate reasons like emergency services. Going after the person who does this AND his personal account is just wankmode vindictive, but from what I've seen so far of God Elon that seems to be his default modus operandi anyway.

            Anyway, he's now justifyably getting it in the neck from the EU, and they don't tend to stay in warning mode long. They'll act, if only to show for political reasons that they're not beholden to US former billionaires rewriting the rules (at least, not without bribing EU members of parliament first, but that's another story that involves Qatar).

    3. DrSunshine0104

      Re: Publicly available ≠ public

      I am sure it has been pointed out before, but filing a FAA flight plan generates a public record that people can request from the US government. If people know the tail number of your aircraft then anytime it takes to the air with a flight plan, they'll know where and when you travelled.

      If he doesn't want people to know where he is going, then he needs to avoid information leak about his jet, which would be insanely difficult. It takes dozens of people to maintain a jet and keeping them all from knowing or talking about the aircraft would be impossible. The same reason why conspiracy theories are fantasy.

      If he wants to personally own a jet then he basically cannot leave US airspace and only fly VFR. Otherwise fly charter or commercial.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Publicly available ≠ public

        God no, I would not want to be on a commercial flight with him. Flying is a pain in the proverbial as it is, can you imagine the circus when he would fly commercial? Ugh.

        No, I'm OK with keeping him in his own air tight container.

    4. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: Publicly available ≠ public

      Is that you, Elon? You okay, hun? Is your bum a bit hurty sore at the moment?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Publicly available ≠ public

        He's gonna hurt some more now, he's just been kicked in the cojones by a woman using his own service..

        Twitter threatened with EU sanctions over journalists' ban.

        I'm guessing that's another banned account then?

        :)

    5. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: Publicly available ≠ public

      Radio transmission that is not encrypted has been deemed "public" since Marconi era, and confirmed by courts at the time.

    6. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: Publicly available ≠ public

      Your argument is that because the data is not made available by a public body, it is not public data?

      Sounds like a bit of a pointless hair-splitting exercise.

      The data is available to the public and has no restrictions on its dispersal. Whether it is officially "public information" or information that is publicly available is moot. People are free to share it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm appalled

    But sadly not surprised, at two things:

    One is the amount of bile being spewed here against one individual. It's worrying to see this mob mentality in developed countries in the 21st century. We're all comparatively well off (if you disagree, I invite you to apply to the ICRC or to MSF and spend a couple of years in the field to see how others live) so it's not like we need to revert to primitive survival mechanisms.

    The other is ElReg (amongst many others) milking the drama for a handful of ad dollars. I know every excuse they will make to justify it, and they're all equally specious. I should probably ignore it, but my sense of fair play prevents me from doing so. What I don't do is disable my ad blocker, read the every increasing number of "sponsored" articles or share any links to this site, and sadly I haven't been doing so for years. I say sadly because there are some good authors who write here; however the editorial staff leave to be desired.

    In case it's not clear from the above: no, this is not about being pro someone or against someone. This is about fundamental ethics and a sense of moral responsibility. I would write the same whether we'd be talking of mother Theresa, Stalin, or the guy who stole my bike. Criticism, yes. Hate, no (and that goes for those who foment it as well).

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I'm appalled

      "In case it's not clear from the above: no, this is not about being pro someone or against someone. This is about fundamental ethics and a sense of moral responsibility. I would write the same whether we'd be talking of mother Theresa, Stalin, or the guy who stole my bike. Criticism, yes. Hate, no (and that goes for those who foment it as well)."

      On the other hand, Twitter et al are already doing exactly the same with all of their users data, profiling them, probably selling on the results etc etc. Because that data has "value", they don't make it public, but is it really any different morally? There are people prepared to pay to get far more sensitive data about Twitter users than the location of a flight they may be taking. What Twitter et al actually sell may be aggregated, but the people collecting the data have it right down to the last detail.

      The data on Musks planes flights is publicly accessible, just as Twitter users data is accessible to Twitter. We get told if we don't what to be tracked by Twitter, don't use Twitter. If Musk doesn't want his plane tracked, then go by train or car. He has the same choice we do.

      1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C
        Boffin

        Re: I'm appalled

        "If Musk doesn't want his plane tracked, then go by train or car." Or buy a second plane. And a third. Send them wherever when you want to fly.

        It's not rocket science.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          Re: I'm appalled

          ...Or, go full-metal Italian Job and have several similar planes fly at the same time to several different locations, with the Muskrat being in only one of them. (Or perhaps even in none of them...psych!)

          Three-card Monty at a level that is befitting a fatass billionaire.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm appalled

        > On the other hand, Twitter et al are already doing exactly the same with all of their users data, profiling them, probably selling on the results etc etc.

        I confess that I have no idea what twitter's business model is or was until now.

        But that's a criticism that can legitimately be directed at Twitter the company.

        > Because that data has "value", they don't make it public, but is it really any different morally?

        That is a good question and this could be an opportunity to open a debate on that. 2 wrongs ≠ 1 right, though.

        > If Musk doesn't want his plane tracked, then go by train or car. He has the same choice we do.

        If I put a tracker in your car / bike, you can always walk, right?

        1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: I'm appalled

          Bikes don't tend to have much of a risk of mid-air collision if you don't know where they all are, and that's why there's not an internationally recognised agreement to keep track of where they all are.

          edit - wow the downvote bot got me as soon as I posted that. I must be really annoying some idiot.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'm appalled

            It's not a bot, it's a former commercial pilot who finds your argument particularly specious.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I'm appalled

              As a former commercial pilot you think bikes need trackers, or that the reason planes have trackers is invalid?

              You're not "former" because you were drunk on the job by any chance?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I'm appalled

              If you're a (former) commercial pilot you also ought to know that passenger manifests are not public, as opposed to flight data.

              What is tracked is a plane registered in Musk's name. Even if it flies without him.

            3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

              Re: I'm appalled

              Commercial pilot? Must be some sort of military super-pilot with the reflexes to get a down-vote in, in the few hundred milliseconds between me hitting post, and the page refreshing on my browser. Because it showed up as soon as I posted my comment.

              Obvious bot is obvious. I'm glad to see I've annoyed someone enough for them to waste their time setting a bot on me, and one that performs such a trivial and pointless task. I feel honoured, but also a bit saddened by the lack of anti-bot countermeasures the Reg seems to be suffering from (on a tech news site, no less).

              Bring back the Moderatrix, I say! She'd sort 'em out!

              1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: I'm appalled

                Ow! No! Stop! It hurts! The downvotes! They are having SUCH an effect!

        2. ChrisC Silver badge

          Re: I'm appalled

          "If I put a tracker in your car / bike, you can always walk, right?"

          If you put a tracker on my car then I'll be passing your details onto the police... If you put a tracker on a car belonging to certain other individuals, they might decide to deal with you via other means, which you'd find even less agreeable than being arrested and slung in a cell awaiting trial.

          You're missing the fundamental point. Civilian aircraft are required to broadcast this information, private road vehicles are not.

          The argument over whether flight tracking information ought to be restricted for airline/ATC use only is a seperate one - right now that information IS available to anyone who wants it, and thus anyone who today boards a civil aircraft should be well aware that anyone anywhere in the world would be able to track that flight unless it happens to be flying around those parts of the world where ADSB coverage is limited.

          Conversely, anyone who today gets into their personal car, or onto their personal bike, has every reason to presume that the only people able to track their journey are law enforcement and other similarly positioned government agencies. Fred Bloggs, sat in front of his PC? Nope, not unless he's hacked into the systems of those agencies, in which case see above for the expected outcome once detected.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            "Civilian aircraft are required to broadcast this information, private road vehicles are not."

            They are using "Reasoning by analogy."

            It's popular with Evangelical Christians, Flat Earthers and various other SEL's.

            Usually the analogy fails because it does not stand up to close inspection.

            Mostly because the people using them are not trying to find the truth of a situation. They are trying to win an argument, often one that is either undecidable, or just wrong.

    2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: I'm appalled

      If you want to make a serious point, don't post as AC.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm appalled

        There are more arguments to post as AC other than accountability.

        Take it as a sign to judge a post solely on its individual merit, not influenced by name or history (or a badge). Imagine a Twitter employee posting under a name, for instance, or someone with a responsible, high end public facing job.

        1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: I'm appalled

          Quite right, I sometimes post as AC, if something I post would help to publicly identify me or my employer.

          It's called the right to privacy, or Article 8 of the ECHR.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: I'm appalled

      And I am appalled by the continued insistance to conflate this issue with privacy and personal attention.

      What part of "it's the plane that's being tracked" do you not understand ?

      What part of "the information is publicly available" goes above your head ?

      We're not talking about some guy with a camera and an absurdly expensive telephoto lens climbing on top of a hill to snap pics of someone beside a private pool, we're talking about using official public data to record the whereabouts of a piece of equipment.

      Climb down from your soapbox already, you're off-subject.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: I'm appalled

        Its tracking a plane, not a person & its publicly available data.

        No way to know if Musk is on that plane unless he or someone else has "leaked" his travel plans.

        Just more toys / pram behaviour.

        If he's bothered about personal privacy maybe he should be more concerned about ANPR data, it's usually not publicly available, but enough people have access to the data for it to be abused (be it a "stalker" or just someone corrupt passing on the data for personal gain)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: I'm appalled

          "Just more toys / pram behaviour."

          And just to prove it, he's now banned live links to Mastodon on Twitter as "potential malware", apparently very shorty after links were posted showing where the @elonsplane has found a new home, which I'm sure is not related any way nosir! :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm appalled

      Projecting much?

      Bile gets spewed from Elon's mouth and it ruins people's lives.

      Your protecting the man who tweeted "Pedo guy" at the bloke trying to rescue some kids stuck in a cave.

      Snowflake.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm appalled

        Amusingly whenever I see or hear a mention of "Pedo Guy" I think of Musk. Funny how justice prevails sometimes.

    5. The Travelling Dangleberries

      Re: I'm appalled

      "The other is ElReg (amongst many others) milking the drama for a handful of ad dollars. "

      Are there really ads on ElReg?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm appalled

        Given that the typical El Reg audience knows rather well how to filter those it's a valid question :)

  12. aerogems Silver badge
    Mushroom

    United States, if you're listening

    It seems well past time to review whether His Muskiness should be continued to hold a US Security Clearance and if SpaceX should be allowed to bid on future contracts so long as His Muskiness is in any kind of executive control. Just a few potential disqualifying reasons.

    1: Increasingly erratic behavior, suggestive of untreated mental illness and/or drug abuse

    2: Owes large sums of money to foreign governments

    3: Is deeply in debt generally

    4: Has considerable business dealings with the Chinese, who are known for corporate espionage

    5: Has violated multiple US state and federal laws/regulations surrounding employment, environmental, and securities

    6: Is currently under investigation by at least two different US regulators

    7: Has shown, on multiple occasions, that he will fail to honor contract terms

    8: He was crowdsourcing potential solutions for problems with SpaceX designs on Twitter

    9: Has been spreading QAnon conspiracy theories

    10: Has been inciting violence against people who he has personal disagreements with

    This is all on top of his losing the clearance the first time around when he decided it would be a good idea to be filmed smoking weed, so there is a history of past drug abuse. Everyone's entitled to their personal opinion about whether weed should be legal, but according to US Federal law it is currently still a Schedule 1 drug meaning that possession and consumption are strictly forbidden. I know some people might think #9 and #10 are sub-categories of #1, and I don't necessarily disagree, but also think they're important enough they deserve explicit mention.

    Personally, I think #1-4 are a valid reason to yank his clearance and add him to a permanent "nope" list individually. The first one is kind of self-evident, you don't want someone who's out of their gourd having access to sensitive material. If he were to seek treatment for his mental illness, we could talk about striking that one from the list. The second and third ones are classic methods of turning someone into an asset for spies. Look at Paul Manafort during the Trump 2016 campaign. He owed far less money to the Russians than Twitler does the Saudis and was handing over confidential polling data to the Kremlin. Then the fourth one... there's nothing wrong with having business interests in China, but given how Twitler doesn't really do boundaries, they could easily use the Tesla plants in China as a way to tunnel into SpaceX's systems. Either covertly or overtly by flat out threatening to just nationalize everything Twitler built up in China if he doesn't hand over info on some rocket design.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: United States, if you're listening

      As someone who actually has a clearance I find your arguments and reasoning correct.

      It depends how much value is put on Space X from a national perspective if this would actually be acted upon, though.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: United States, if you're listening

        SpaceX are flying national security payloads now so I can imagine them insisting that Musk is kept away from anything classified.

        It's possible they already have an understanding along those lines. All the day to day work at SpaceX is done by Gwynne Shotwell anyway, and I can imagine Musk is more interested in Starship than whatever the military are putting on Falcon 9's. He seems to have the attention span of a bored child, so distracting him with shiny new rockets would be pretty easy.

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          Re: United States, if you're listening

          While all of that is true, even if he doesn't have any personal interest in those things, his having ready access to them could be a problem if he were ever compromised. IMO, it's time that the US government say that if SpaceX wants to continue bidding on future contracts, they need to institute some serious firewalls to isolate Twitler from the classified parts of the business, or just buy him out and sever all ties.

  13. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Duh

    If you want a dorky name but don't want to be stalked, you need a name like "Usb Reviews" that will completely fail in search engines.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Duh

      Or any Microsoft product.

      "Hey Windows, can you bring Outlook along? And tell Powerpoint to hurry up with her makeup!"

      I mean, if you're going for dorky names you might as well go fully idiotic. You may end up paying for child psychiatry for years as a result, though.

      1. ChrisC Silver badge

        Re: Duh

        But which of your offspring would you saddle with being called Clippy?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Duh

          The one I don’t like.

          Posting anon for obvious reasons.

          Sorry Clip, maybe your next family will be more to your speed.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Duh

          Well, duh. The know-it-all smartass.

          Who's usually actually not *quite* right...

  14. jollyboyspecial

    Elon's got himself a problem here. There's are all sorts of cases that break this hastily drafted rule. If twitter don't start banning accounts left right and centre for doing basically the same thing then he'll have trouble with his threatened legal action. All the defence have to do is point out all the accounts that live tweet any third party's location. Not only that but live tweeting this data isn't illegal, just in breach of a badly drafted rule on a single platform. If tweeting this data were illegal then all live flight tracker apps and websites would be illegal and they ain't.

    So freedom of speech is only freedom of speech as long as you're saying something the musky one approves of...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think you can safely ignore what Twitter writes in their rules by now, they are only bad coverups for "you can only say things that Elon likes", proven by his most recent actions.

      It's interesting how quickly money brings out the loathsomeness of some people.

    2. TheFifth

      You are right, Elon does have a problem here. Looks like the journalists were banned just for reporting on the story and linking to @ElonJet's other account on Mastodon. So linking to any live tracking data is enough for a ban.

      With that being the case, I assume any links posted by @FlightRadar24 to their own site will also be an insta-ban? They are tracking the whereabouts of almost everyone who is on a commercial aircraft anywhere in the world in real time. They also track Musk's jet whilst it's in the air.

      If Flight Radar aren't banned then it's obvious that the rule is actually 'don't track anything Elon owns'. Although, just for the illusion of fairness he's also banned the tracking of other billionaires' jets too, so I guess the rule is 'know your place, little people'.

      1. First Light

        Yes, Flightradar24 is still up on Twitter. People are having fun with it, posting about doxxing the jetstream, etc.

        https://twitter.com/flightradar24

  15. jonfr

    When the far right turn on their own

    This is just the far right turning on Elon Musk (a group of people that he loves it seems). This people operate in groups and they often do a lot of ugly infighting because some conspiracy theory goes to the top of the sewage flow in the far right. The people that Elon Musk loves have in part turned against him and that might not be for any particular reason (or he just did something wrong at random and this people go crazy, there's no way to know for sure).

    Elon Musk is also entering into SLAPP lawsuits laws if he tries to sue people to stop covering him and his public registered movements on his private jet.

    Elon Musk is also using public own ADS-B protocol and there are a lot of trackers out there. I plan on getting my own (or two) in the future.

    https://thepointsguy.com/news/how-flight-tracking-works/ (more details on the ADS-B tracking.)

    1. aerogems Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: When the far right turn on their own

      Oh STFU and GTFO! No one cares about your fancy logic or facts! Conspiracy theorists don't start with facts and draw a conclusion, WTF is wrong with you!? They start with a conclusion and then cherry pick, or pull out of their ass if need be, "facts" that support that conclusion, ignoring everything else. Because it's not about something stupid like the truth, it's about their fee-fees! Never let facts get in the way of a good narrative! If you boil down the actions of conspiracy theorists anywhere, pre or post-QAnon, that is what you are left with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When the far right turn on their own

        I applaud the liberal use of exclamation marks in your comment, but it still was a bit short on capital letters.

        Anyway, you made me laugh, thanks :)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The state of the US Health System

    Even the richest people can’t seem to afford mental health services.

  17. Ace2 Silver badge

    Where’s Jellied Eel? TheTick? Disgusted in Tunbridge Wells? All of the other dumbasses posting “but now there’s free speech” over and over. Well?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      AKA: Eadon

      Remember they/them/teapot?

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        I miss Eadon. That was some quality foaming-at-the-mouth kookery.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They'll be out celebrating Donie O'Sullivan (who shines a light on crazy, rightwing, conspiracy nutbags) is no longer on Twitter?

    3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      I think they're too busy frantically hitting F5 and the downvote button on every post that conflicts with their distorted world view by contrasting them with facts...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Are they allowed out in daylight?

      :)

  18. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Flame

    Twit's on fire, yo.

    As predicted up-thread, Elon has started banning journalists from Twitter for reasons which are unclear but which seem to be related to reporting on this story.

    Anyone want to defend the "free speech" ramifications of that action? I await the ensuing logical contortions!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twit's on fire, yo.

      Prepare to be astounded by the levels of cognitive dissonance ...

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Twit's on fire, yo.

      He is apparently banning journalists because they mentioned @elonjet in yet another late-night paranoid rant. He's also suspended @joinmastodon and links to Mastodon.

      In a way he is defending free speech - every prickish decision he makes running Twitter is immediately public and everyone gets to see how he runs his other companies.

      Twitter suspends accounts of several journalists who had reported on Elon Musk.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Joke

        "Elonjet"

        Y'know if Musk wanted to start an airline......*

        Perhaps he's just p**sed someone got to it first.

        *See icon.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twit's on fire, yo.

      Oh, the fire has already started..

      I'm guessing that's another account that will be banned soon :).

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Twit's on fire, yo.

        They appear to be prepared for that eventuality, they've had a Mastodon instance since April.

  19. Potemkine! Silver badge

    The King has spoken.

    Free speech on Twatter is what Muskie authorizes.

    == Bring us Dabbsie back! ==

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free speech?

    No.

    Eight dollar speech.*

    * conditions apply and change frequently.

  21. chivo243 Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Elon's Personal Internet Megaphone!

    Let\s change the name of Twitter to EPIM (at least here on Reg.com) Did you hear the latest crap on the EPIM??

  22. Ahab Returns

    Unfortunately Musky has surrounded himself with sycophants, nobody want's to tell the Emperor that he is a swivel eyed loony, mainly because he is paying their mortgages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have offered several times ...

      to do Musk's social media for him.

      "Hey Elon, for the low, low price of $1m/year I reckon I can keep you in the public eye on social media and stop you trashing your legacy [such as it is]."

      I think the guy's crazy. Does he think it's mainly RWNJs buying Teslas?!

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: I have offered several times ...

        To be fair, I don't know many lefties who own one of this turbo-milkfloats.

        The rich people who can afford them tend to be rich people, and rich people tend to be right-wing, although not usually the nutjob type, just the "sell your grandmother to turn a profit" type.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      he is paying their mortgages

      For the next month or two, anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Apparently he's now considering clawing that back too, so he must be far deeper in the hole than we thought.

        Maybe that explains why he's gone nuts: stress. I recommend a nice padded room for a couple of months with plenty of happy pills.

        It gives the adults time to clean up the mess.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Horseshoe theory

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_theory

    Shows that the extreme right is just as bad as the extreme left. In fact it's worse, I never anticipated that Musk would go this far with his censorship of Twitter.

    I was a fence-sitter when it came to Elon Musk, I didn't know whether to like him or hate him. And his actions here surely have put me into the "hate Elon" camp now...

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Horseshoe theory

      Yup.

      Out of power.

      Carry out act of terror.

      Spread lies

      Attempt to discredit the electorial process if their candidates don't win

      Attempt to discredit reporting of their agenda by actual journalists

      In power

      Institute/expand mass surveillance

      Widen reasons to arrest and imprison people

      Target specific groups for outright murder.

      I know of countries where that pattern has played out. But I can't tell if it's a right-wing or a left-wing group.

      Because it doesn't matter. Their real enemy is the democratic process itself.

      The right of people to have an election and say "We're tired of you authoritarian nutjobs. We want some sane grownups in now."

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    say it with me, folks

    As we were repeatedly reminded, every time anyone to the right of pol pot complained over a ban for otherwise legal speech: it's a private company and can do whatever it wants.

    Not so funny now, is it?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: say it with me, folks

      Of COURSE it's funny!

      Have you not noticed Musk is doing EXACTLY what he and other right-leaning folks were whining about? Nobody (here) is suggesting that he shouldn't be allowed to do it, rather we're laughing at his ham-handed handling of the situation.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: say it with me, folks

        Exactly. It's his company. Of course he has a right to ban people from it. He has a right to kick every other Twitter user off and be the only one who can post.

        His right to do so doesn't make him less of a hypocritical asshole, just as the right of pre-Musk Twitter to kick people off or decline to publish anything doesn't justify their decisions to do so. (Other things might, but the fact that they have the right to do so is a necessary but not sufficient condition for justice.)

        And, as jake says, of course it's funny. Something can be bad and funny, if you're an adult.

      2. genghis_uk

        Re: say it with me, folks

        Not only is it funny that Elon is doing exactly what they were all whining about but I notice no-one is screaming about censorship when Musk does it - because it never was when Twitter did it previously!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: say it with me, folks

      I dunno, I'm laughing pretty hard at him.

      What's not so funny is that his hypocrisy impacts the livelhoods of those working for him, but that's not so much a free-speech issue as it is an Elons-a-gigantic-bellend issue.

      Someone said this the other day, and I think it sums it up:

      > As a society, we should stop letting people become so rich that their personal problems become our problem

      All of this only exists because an adult-toddler acted without thinking, tried to back out of his commitments, was held to them and has gone full knee-jerk "I know best".

      So, to answer your question, yes it's extremely fucking funny.

      He's bought a platform and used it to show exactly how inept he actually is.

      - Saddling Twitter with an extra 1bn in annual liabilities to pay the loans he needed for his over-the-odds-offer

      - Landing like a ton of bricks and making changes to things he doesn't understand

      - Breaking employment laws world-wide during layoffs. Reportedly now trying to weasel out of paying the severance he promised

      - Rushing the launch of blue, leading to mass impersonation of brands

      - Borrowing staff from *publicly owned* companies (Tesla, SpaceX) to fix problems in his privately owned enterprise, with no benefit to those public orgs.. Not going to end well.

      - Insisting employees return to the office, but has then failed to pay rent on that office

      - Insisting that legal speech should not be censored (because that would be undemocratic), and then within weeks starts censoring accounts that mock him

      Of course, this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who knows Musk's history. He got rich because Paypal was sold to Ebay, but at that point he was no longer at Paypal having been fired because he kept trying to take the company in a completely different (and insane) direction. He got rich because Thiel managed to fix his fuck-ups for him.

    3. Ace2 Silver badge

      Re: say it with me, folks

      Funny how that’s the exact opposite of the argument you moo-rons have been making for weeks. “Lord Elon has fixed all of the problems with bad old Twitter, now we have FREE SPEECH!”

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am looking forward to his fans explaining this one..

    I must admit that I find it fascinating how people can stay fans of people who are so obviously and totally flawed, just because they know how to BS really well and take credit for other people's work (and/or are rich, as if that's an excuse for questionable behaviour).

    So bear with me while I get popcorn, it's going to get entertaining.

    As for the issue at hand, given that the explosion in questionable content on Twitter after Musk seems to be running headlong into the agreement the company has with the FTC and violates EU directives on social media, coupled with Apple’s app store requirement to keep it clean (and Google’s, but they keep quiet and let Apple take all the heat) I’m wondering if the company will even make 2023 without being banned everywhere (which will yield another explosion of BS, of course, but in a much smaller Universe).

    In any case, it appears Elon is about to get a very expensive, $44bn worth lesson in social behaviour.

    Good timing, btw, on a Friday :)

  26. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

    How is reporducing publicly available information "doxxing"?

    Enquiring minds demand to know. Because the word (ugly neologism that it is) originates from making private documents available (documents -> docs -> dox -> doxxing), not publicly mandated tracking information of aircraft, which by law is freely available worldwide, for obvious safety purposes.

    Also, knowing where a plane is, is not the same as knowing where the person who owns that plane is, unless... wait... that's it... Musk has one of those planes that turns into a car, like in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

    He's really concerned that the child catcher is coming for his moronically named offspring.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How is reporducing publicly available information "doxxing"?

      At the rate he's going it will soon be social services who will take his children off him.

      Unbelievable.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: How is reporducing publicly available information "doxxing"?

      Musk has done more harm to his children by giving them stupid names and abandoning them at the drop of a hat than anyone has looking at @elonjet out of idle curisity.

      He didn't even need to drag them into this in the first place. No wonder his eldest child wants nothing to do with him.

    3. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: How is reporducing publicly available information "doxxing"?

      It's doxxing because the Great Twitler decreed it was doxxing. There's really not anything more to it. It's not really a personal safety risk any more than the flight tracking info public airlines give out, he just doesn't like it when people realize he took a jet to go from SJC to SFO instead of driving the 50 or so miles.

    4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: How is reporducing publicly available information "doxxing"?

      At this rate, some mischievous bod may deposit a tracking device on Musk and track the hell out of him

  27. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Aaand we have liftoff: EU threatens sanctions

    From the BBC:

    The EU has threatened Twitter owner Elon Musk with sanctions after several journalists covering the company had their accounts abruptly suspended. Reporters for the New York Times, CNN and the Washington Post were among those locked out of their accounts. EU commissioner Vera Jourova warned that the EU's Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom. "Elon Musk should be aware of that. There are red lines. And sanctions, soon," she tweeted. She said: "News about arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is worrying.

    Now, she tweeted that, so I assume Elon is going to ban her too?

    :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aaand we have liftoff: EU threatens sanctions

      Excellent

  28. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Space Karen

    The Elongated Muskrat is a liability: a very rich and very powerful person who has seemingly lost his mind. There seem to be a few of these entitled retarded twats around recently.

    1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: Space Karen

      Wibble

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        (sorry, couldn't resist)

  29. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    You can track any plane you like, except one

    Interesting bit of research here:

    https://twitter.com/GaspardWinckler/status/1603734295205490688

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: You can track any plane you like, except one

      It probably won't come as a surprise to you that that account has been suspended too..

  30. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Has Musk never heard of the Streisand effect, where the more press he generates around this tracker the more people are likely to go and look for it?

    Until he decided to ban it Id never even heard about it, and now its making mainstream press news sites. The guy really is out of touch with reality.

    FYI its still up on Mastodon located at https://mastodon.social/@elonjet and apparently 'pedo guy' got the Mastodon twitter account suspended because they had tweeted out that @elonjet is now on Mastodon.

  31. jollyboyspecial

    Mastodon

    Apparently twitter is now blocking all links to Mastodon claiming that it's malware. The plot has officially been lost.

  32. Someone Else Silver badge

    We don't talk about Elon (except to kiss his ass/arse)

    So the Muskrat, the self-proclaimed holy avatar of all things free speech, has suspended the accounts of several journalists for allegedly reporting about @elonjet (even though it has been shown that several of those banned reporters did nothing of the sort, but have rather simply pointed out repeatedly that the Emperor has no clothes1).

    This is a beta test of how tRump and his ilk will perform should they ever get back into a place of power. And to those MAGAt commentards that will want to downvote me because I would dare to take the name of either His Orangeness or his Muskrat handmaiden in vain, you might reflect before you click on that down-arrow, that we've seen this movie before, and we know how it comes out.

    1 And that he has a thin skin and a teeny weeny ... uhhh ... well, insert name of appropriate body part here.

  33. Mitoo Bobsworth

    What a Child

    Could someone please take Musks new toy off him until he learns how to play nicely with others? The noise from the sandpit is becoming more & more irritating.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unwanted upgrade

    Musk: Trump 2.0

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold the plane!

    I don’t think we’ve seen anything from Herr Twitler yet.

    The crazy is only just ramping up.

  36. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Trollface

    U Turn

    Elon Musk reinstates Twitter accounts of suspended journalists

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/dec/17/elon-musk-reinstates-twitter-accounts-of-suspended-journalists

    Hmm - Is Musk doing a "Truss"? Next he'll bring an adult in to run the show

  37. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    It’s almost as if relying on a private company as if it was a public service could be a bad thing?

    But, nah, let’s just keep doing so.

  38. zapgadget
    Flame

    Using twitter gives Musk your location

    If you dig into the privacy settings you can turn off location-based advertising but you cannot stop twitter from having your location.

    The best you can do is restrict location permission on your phone, but that won't stop IP-based location inference.

    What's good for the goose.

    Of course, by not using twitter...

  39. Trotts36

    Elon had a PIA

    Your story "for some reason" ignores the fact that Elon got a PIA - Privacy ICAO Address - which attempts to protect the identification of an aircraft by rotating the address. Sweeny publicly tweeted that he'd identified the PIA and had worked around it. So private address backward engineered so Sweeny could identify the plane and Dox the location. Effectively releasing private information.

    Elon stopped the PIA later - no doubt due to realising that Sweeny had worked around the mechanism.

    So - all the journos who continued to link to Sweeny's website and information deserved banning.

  40. DS999 Silver badge

    Twitter is now banning

    Any mention of competing social media. Obviously Elon is panicking about people telling their followers "follow me on mastadon / instagram / whatever" because that will make it easier for them to dump Twitter.

    Can you imagine Facebook not allowing links to Twitter? Even Jack Dorsey, who has been acting as a yes-man for Musk on some of his more controversial moves, thinks this is a step too far.

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