Tesla CEO Elon Musk is attempting to pay a teen thousands of dollars to shut down a Twitter account that keeps tabs on his private jet, claiming a concern about his personal safety.
The billionaire reached out to 19-year-old college student Jack Sweeney in November 2021 expressing concern about the account he runs called @ElonJet. It provides regular updates on the flights that Musk’s jet takes using publicly available information.
“Can you take this down? It is a security risk,” Musk wrote to Sweeney.
They exchanged some messages, and eventually Sweeney gave a counteroffer of $50,000. He told Musk the money would be “great support in college and would possibly allow me to get a car maybe even a Model 3.”
It’s important to reiterate here that Musk is worth hundreds of billion of dollars and the teen is using public information to run the account.
Musk said he would consider the offer, but later said it didn’t “feel right” to pay to shut down the account, and eventually he stopped responding.
@ElonJet is not unique for Sweeney. It’s among 15 flight-tracking accounts the teen has set up that follow the whereabouts of billionaires’ private jets, including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. Musk’s account, however, is the most popular with just under 83,000 followers.
Eventually Sweeney explained to Musk where he was getting his data from, and the tech-giant was surprised how easy it was to access all of it, according to Protocol.
“Air traffic control is so primitive,” Musk said.
Sweeney most recently DMed Musk a week ago saying he’d prefer an internship over payment in return for deleting the account. However, Musk hasn’t opened the message.
That being said, Sweeney doesn’t seem to mind, as his flight tracker indicates Musk is on vacation in Hawaii at the time.