An enterprising teen received a direct message from world’s richest man, Elon Musk, on Twitter with an attractive offer: delete your Twitter account tracking my private jet and I’ll send you $5,000.
Elon Musks Offers Teen $5K To Stop Tracking His Private Jet, Teen Counters At $50K
Jack Sweeney is a 19-year-old college student. He runs a Twitter account called @ElonJet which tracks the movement of Musk’s private jet, a Gulfstream G650 under the registration N628TS.
Musk, who is an avid Twitter user, reached our to Sweeney via direct message last November. His message was direct:
“Can you take this down? It is a security risk.”
Seven hours later, Sweeney responded:
“Yes I can but it’ll cost you a Model 3 only joking unless?”
Musk responded, “I don’t love the idea of being shot by a nutcase,” and asked:
“Ok, how about $5K for this account and generally helping make it slightly harder for crazy people to track me.”
Sweeney countered back at $50K:
“Sounds doable, account and all my help. Any chance to up that to $50K? It would be great support in college and would possibly allow me to get a car maybe even a Model 3. Would love to help you out.”
Although Forbes reported this week that Musk is worth $240 billion on paper, he was not interested in the counteroffer, arguing it did not “feel right” to have to pay to shut down the account. He eventually stopped responding to Sweeney.
Even though Musk’s private jet is on a Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed (LADD) block list which prevents his aircraft information showing up in most public tracking services like FlightAware or FlightRadar24, Musk’s aircraft is still tracked on the ADS-B Exchange. Sweeney created a bot to monitor for activity on Musk’s aircraft and cross reference it with another website which posts anonymized FAA flight plans to determine his location.
Sweeney shared all this with Musk, who responded, “Air traffic control is so primitive.”
His last note was sent about a week ago. Sweeney asked for an internship instead of the payment. Musk has yet to respond or even read his message.
But Sweeney is not holding his breath. He told Protocol, which first broke this story,
“I think he’s on vacay in Hawaii if you check @ElonJet.”
image: James Duncan Davidson