Controversy continues a day after Twitter developed a new policy to justify its decision to remove @elonjet which follows Elon Musk’s private jet. Mastodon, Twitter’s open-source rival, appears to have been removed from the service on Thursday afternoon. Just prior to its suspension, Mastodon tweeted a link to the jet tracking account on its own server, according to archives.
Elon Musk suspends Mastodon accounts and links on the platform
As of 6:30 p.m. PT, many Mastodon URLs no longer work on Twitter, which classifies them as “possibly dangerous.” In our testing, tweeted URLs to some servers without the site’s name in the domain appeared to work. Domains of the Twitter alternative have been blocked, although connections to journa.host and others continue to operate. As the Twitter alternative gained traction, many users included a Mastodon profile link in their biographies. Any links to blacklisted Mastodon servers are now removed, with the warning “Warning: this link may be unsafe.”
Twitter has banned access to other Mastodon servers that do not have the service in the domain name as of 8 p.m. PT, including journa.host and SciComm.xyz. Florida student Jack Sweeney runs the now-banned Twitter account @ElonJet, as well as a number of other flight-tracking bots that aggregate flight information from public sources. Sweeney’s personal Twitter account was also suspended, as were several of the bots, including one that provided updates on Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Musk had a different tone about the account in early November, but he’s subsequently backtracked, modifying Twitter’s platform standards to reflect his own tastes. “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk,” he tweeted. That tweet is now followed by messages from the community explaining the @elonJet story.
Since the company’s hands-on new owner came aboard, Musk’s personal and political inclinations have informed a number of Twitter policy changes. While Musk initially stated that Twitter would accept any non-illegal speech, he has now blocked particular accounts for personal reasons. Musk reinstated a slew of high-profile Nazis and white supremacists earlier this month, but he refused to reinstate Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, citing his own parenthood experience.
A single person cannot define the rules for the whole network on Mastodon, a federated, open-source Twitter competitor. Its servers, which are independent but open instances of the social network, are governed by individuals who can impose rules, but users can easily decamp to another server if they disagree with those decisions. While this controversy is still ongoing, why not check out Twitter suspends journalists based on Elon Musk’s request, or Twitter relaunches Twitter Blue: It will cost extra $3 for Apple users.