(The Hill) – Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered $5,000 to a 19-year-old to shut down a Twitter account that tracks his private flights, the teenager told Protocol. Jack Sweeney runs 15 flight-tracking accounts using a bot he created that automatically posts when a celebrity’s flight leaves or lands at an airport.
Sweeney’s account tracking Musk’s flights has the most followers, with more than 97,000, and its popularity led Musk to send a direct message to Sweeney. “I don’t love the idea of being shot by a nutcase,” Musk said in the message, offering $5,000 for Sweeney to take it down, according to Protocol.
“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,” Sweeney responded back. The last exchange between Musk and Sweeney occurred a week ago when Sweeney said he would delete the account for no money if Musk gave him an internship. The teenager said Musk has not opened the message yet.
Sweeney explained to Musk how he was able to find publicly available data regarding his private jet to create an algorithm that automatically posts the status of Musk’s plane on Twitter. Although the status of Musk’s flights is public information, only those with high knowledge of the industry would understand where to find it, according to Protocol.