Teen wants $50,000 to stop stalking Elon Musk’s private jet


Earlier this week, 19-year-old Jack Sweeney gained some notoriety on the internet when posted a story on one of its Twitter bots. The student supports ElonJet, a tracker that tweets when Elon Musk’s private jet takes off and lands. Sweeney has several other such bots that use publicly available air traffic data to track the private planes of celebrities like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. However, with 180,000+ subscribers, the ElonJet account is by far Sweeney’s most famous creation. And it was this popularity that drew none other than Elon Musk to the bot.

Last fall, the entrepreneur contacted Sweeney about ElonJet. “Can you take that down? It’s a security risk,” he said, according to Protocol. Musk told Sweeney he would give him $5,000 to delete the account and prevent “crazy people” from finding out where he is. Sweeney made a counter offer. “Do you have any chance of raising that to $50,000? That would be great support for college and maybe get me a car, maybe even a Model 3.”

Musk told her he would think about it, but the two haven’t spoken since. At the time, Sweeney said Protocol he wasn’t bothered that Musk was ghosting him. His work on ElonJet had taught him how to code and landed him a part-time job at a company called UberJets. Also, as a self-proclaimed fan, he was able to share a conversation with one of his idols.

Now the teenager seems to have changed his tone. In a new interview with , he said he decided to go public with Musk’s offer after the billionaire apparently lost interest in making a deal. “He went the opposite way from me, so why wouldn’t I go the opposite way from him?” he asked for publication. “I worked a lot on this and $5,000 just isn’t enough,” Sweeney said. He said Business Intern the initial offer would not replace the “fun” he had working on the bot.

It doesn’t look like Musk has any interest in negotiating with Sweeney. Following their initial conversation, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX implemented some of the technical advice Sweeney gave him to make his jet harder to track. At the time, Musk also reportedly told Sweeney that he “didn’t feel right to pay to shut this down.” He’s probably right.


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