Elon Musk offered a 19-year-old US$5,000 to remove a Twitter account that automatically tracks the billionaire’s private jet.
Jack Sweeney is a college student who has coded bots that tweet whenever private jets owned by celebrities take off or land at a runway.
The likes of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Taylor Swift have their jets’ whereabouts posted by Sweeney’s bots which pull from public flight data and are matched using tail numbers known to belong to famous people.
ElonJet, the account tracking Musk’s Gulfstream G650 plane, was popular enough to have Musk concerned.
“Can you take this down?” he asked Sweeney in a direct message last year which was shared with Protocol. “It is a security risk.”
“Yes I can but it’ll cost you a Model 3 only joking unless?” Sweeney replied, suggesting he could be bought.
The conversation took a turn with Musk asking for more details about how he could better hide his plane’s flight information.
“I don’t love the idea of being shot by a nutcase,” Musk said.
Sweeney explained where he gets the data from and suggests a program Musk could use to protect himself.
“Ok,” the Tesla CEO said. “How about $5k for this account and generally helping make it slightly harder for crazy people to track me?”
Took off from Hawthorne, California, US. pic.twitter.com/nH7RWF7S3G
— Elon Musk's Jet (@ElonJet) January 30, 2022
Sweeney, sensing that perhaps a man who just sold $1.4 billion worth of his Tesla shares could do better than US$5,000, tried his hand at negotiating.
“Any chance to up that to $50k?” he asked. “It would be great support in college and would possibly allow me to get a car maybe even a [Tesla] Model 3.”
Musk ignored the 19-year-old and blocked him.
Any attempts to further obfuscate the flights of his private jet have been unsuccessful given the ElonJet account – which has more than doubled in followers since Sweeney’s story broke – is still posting Musk’s jet’s location.
Yesterday he flew from Hawthorne, California to Brownsville, Texas. The flight took approximately two hours and 16 minutes.