Being rich and famous comes with some unexpected downsides. Because Elon Muskco-founder and CEO of Teslaone of the drawbacks of fame is having to give a 19-year-old college freshman $5,000 to stop tracking the movements of his private jet on social media.
Jack Sweeney, a student at the University of Central Florida, began tracking Musk’s jet – which, however, is not electric or has no emissions – in June 2020. Some apps allow Anyone with an Internet connection tracks commercial flights, but private jet owners and operators often try to fly under the radar (sorry, not sorry). Sweeney solved this problem by obtaining publicly available data from the Federal Aviation Administration, according to USA Todayand he created a bot associated with a Twitter account named ElonJet Post updates every time planes take off and land.
The account has amassed 124,100 followers as of press time, and it caught Musk’s attention. He reached out to Sweeney and asked him to delete it. “Can you take this down? It’s a security risk,” he wrote, adding that “I don’t like the idea of being shot by an asshole” and he worries about “guys” crazy” tracking his every move. Sweeney replied that he was willing to close his account in exchange for Model 3, which has a base price of $44,990. Musk made the opposite offer: $5,000. Sweeney responded to the billionaire asking for $50,000.
Musk has considered that, according to Protocol, but he ultimately decided that “didn’t feel right to pay to close this door.” Sweeney says he received Bitcoin offers from people who wanted him to keep the account open, which was surprising, but he ended up making another offer to Musk and asking for an internship. There’s still no word on whether he’ll get it, what company he’ll join, or what he’ll do.
Until then, ElonJet is up and running. Musk’s plane landed in Austin, Texas, on January 26 after flying around Hawaii for several days.