Teen Turns Down Elon Musk’s $5,000 Offer to Delete Twitter Account That Tracks His Private Jet
Elon Musk reportedly made one tech-savvy teenager an offer he had to refuse when he requested the teen delete an intrusive Twitter account.
Run by 19-year-old Jack Sweeney, the @ElonJet Twitter account tracks Musk's private jet's movements using public data. To date, the account has over 170,000 followers.
The college student recently revealed to Protocol that he even had a private conversation with the Tesla founder himself regarding the account. It turns out, Musk isn't a fan of the teen's tracking project.
In 2021, Musk tweeted that his whereabouts being shared online was "becoming a security issue."
Musk apparently raised his security concerns with Sweeney directly in a private message sent to the college student last fall. "Can you take this down? It is a security risk," he messaged the teen.
Sweeney joked that he would consider deleting the account in exchange for a Tesla Model 3.
"How about $5k for this account and generally helping make it harder for crazy people to track me?" the billionaire quipped.
Sweeney then asked if Musk would consider $50,000 in exchange for the account. Musk said that he would think about it before later responding that it didn't "feel right to pay to shut this down."
Sweeney says he hasn't heard from Musk since.
The teen told Insider that it was an honor to converse with someone he looks up to professionally.
"I've done a lot of work on this and [$5,000] is not enough," Sweeney told the outlet. He noted that Musk's financial offer simply wouldn't be able to replace "the fun I have in this, working on it."
Sweeney also alleged that Musk has been using new technology to block his jet identifier. However, the information is still accessible via air traffic data, which he can access by working around the blocker.
Sweeney explained that he chose to come forward now, months later, since Musk seemingly lost interest in the offer. The teen shared that the Twitter account was a lockdown project that led to him getting a part-time job working for UberJets, where he worked on a platform to track "chartered flights so the company can find clients cheaper seats."
Sweeney reportedly runs 15 flight-tracking Twitter accounts. Some of his other accounts track the flight movements of public figures such as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.