Elon Musk calls for the removal of the flight tracker | Entertainment
Elon Musk offered a teenager $5,000 to stop tracking his private jet.
The SpaceX founder has contacted Jack Sweeney, 19, to urge him to shut down his ElonJet Twitter account – which uses a bot to track the billionaire’s plane and logs when and where it takes off or lands and the duration of each trip – but the student rejected the offer and demanded $50,000 or an internship instead.
The freshman – who has several other flight robot accounts, including those that track the travels of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos – received a direct message from Musk expressing his safety concerns.
Musk wrote in November: “Can you remove this? It’s a security risk.
“I don’t like the idea of being shot by a crackpot.”
After a series of messages, the businessman then offered a deal: “How about $5,000 for this account and generally helping to make it harder for crazies to follow me?”
The student tried to negotiate and said, “Any chance to raise that to $50,000? It would be a great support at university and it might allow me to have a car, maybe even a [Tesla] Model 3.”
Musk promised to think about the offer, but ultimately declined, telling Sweeney, “It doesn’t feel right to pay to shut this down.”
Sweeney decided to go public with their exchanges in a bid to reopen negotiations because Musk has yet to respond to his offer to delete the account in exchange for an internship.
He told Insider: “I worked a lot on this and 5k is not enough[to make up for] the pleasure I have in working on it.
“He went the opposite way from me, so why wouldn’t I go the opposite way from him?”
But Sweeney had offered some technical advice to Musk, telling him about a blocking program he could use to counter flight trackers.
He noted, “Looks like he took that advice.”
However, he admitted that hadn’t been a problem for him.
When asked if he was still able to track the jet, he replied: “I am. It’s just a bit more complicated.”