Elon Musk has offered 19-year-old American student Jack Sweeney $5000 (€4400) to stop the Twitter account on which he follows the location of his private jet. Sweeney thought the offer was too low. Musk, in turn, did not accept Sweeney’s counter-proposal of $50,000 (over 44,000 euros).
Tesla ceo Elon Musk began to be bothered in the fall by a Twitter account that tracked the flights of his private jet. He hoped to put an end to it quickly by waving some dollars around, but Jack Sweeney, 19-year-old owner of the account, was not amenable to that.
In a personal message on Twitter, Musk asked Sweeney, ‘Can you stop this? This is putting my safety at risk.’ Sweeney replied seven hours later: ‘Yes, I can, but it will cost you a Tesla Model 3. Just kidding. Or is it? Musk said in the interview that he ‘doesn’t like the thought that some lunatic could take him down’.
He asked Sweeney how much he earned from his tracking accounts, which the teenager said was no more than $20 a month (18 euros). At that, Musk offered $5,000 to delete the account and help prevent “crazies” from tracking him anywhere in the world. ‘Is there any chance of raising this to $50,000?”, Sweeney then asked. Musk replied, “It doesn’t feel right to pay to close this account.
Sweeney told the U.S. news website Insider that he has put a lot of time into the account and therefore $5,000 is not enough. According to him, the amount cannot replace the pleasure he has in working on it. Sweeney has fifteen accounts on Twitter with which he follows mostly tech celebrities. Every time one of the planes he follows takes off or lands, it is automatically tweeted. Sweeney similarly tracks Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
But Elon Musk’s account is by far the most popular. Even before the fuss with Sweeney hit the press, 83,000 Twitter followers were already following Musk’s doings on the air, and by now there are nearly 265,000, a tripling.
The university student, who says he inherited his fascination with aircraft from his father who works in the aviation industry, began following Musk’s flights in June 2020, as a fan of the billionaire. It was his lockdown project.