The first to be told to stop was @Gf4Tesla, who revealed on Twitter the automaker had let him know his drone overflight permit had been revoked for “breach of trust.”
According to the drone pilot, the breach of trust was mainly related to some interior photos of Giga Berlin he shared to his Twitter account in late 2020 and early 2021.
The photos were not taken from his drone, but were provided to him by a source who was a construction worker on site.
Several hours later, YouTuber Wu Wa (@bentv_sh) was faced with similar news at Giga Shanghai, although the reasoning for being asked to stop his flights was completely different.
According to a post to his Twitter account, Tesla is claiming “trade secrets” as the reason for asking him to no longer capture footage of the factory.
Flights are now restricted, and the Shanghai plant has informed that filming is not allowed in the parking lot, claiming that there are trade secrets. If this area is de-recorded, there is no point in filming. Can someone help me communicate with Tesla and get permission
— 乌瓦 (@bentv_sh) March 18, 2022
While there appears to be a legitimate reason for @Gf4Tesla’s ban (albeit over one year later), the situation surrounding the ban at Giga Shanghai is a change from CEO Elon Musk’s previously held position that drone flights over their Gigafactories are ok, so long as they are taken from a fair distance and don’t interfere with employees.
I’m fine with reasonable drone footage. Just needs to be at a fair distance & not coming right up to people. I think our security was a little overzealous in this case.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 28, 2020
When another drone pilot was almost arrested during the early days of construction at Giga Berlin, Musk personally gave his stamp of approval for the flights to continue.
Fine by me
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 7, 2020