For $US5000, Elon Musk wanted to get someone to delete a Twitter account that was following his plane. Not enough.
If you want to get rid of your Twitter account that tracks Elon Musk’s private jet, you can pay him $US5000 ($A7148). Jack Sweeney, a 19-year-old from Florida, turned down the offer.
ElonJet has more than 150,000 followers and uses a bot made by Mr. Sweeney to keep track of Musk’s flights.
The feed then tweets when and where the plane takes off or lands, and how long each trip is.
About a dozen other flight bot accounts have been set up by the college freshman. They track the travels of high-profile tech leaders, like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
Protocol first said that Musk sent the first direct message on November 30.
Musk asked Mr. Sweeney, “Can you take this down?”
“It’s a safety risk.”
After a while, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX gave the teenager $US5000 to help stop “crazy people” from tracking his flights.
For $US50,000 (A71,531), Mr. Sweeney said he could use the money for college and maybe a Tesla Model 3.
Musk: “I don’t like the idea of being shot by a crazy person.”
A message was sent on January 19. Musk said it didn’t feel right to pay to close this down. There are messages on CNN Business that have been seen by them.
A job or an internship would make it easier to get rid of the thing, Mr. Sweeney said.
Musk hasn’t yet said anything back.
CNN has asked SpaceX for an answer.
As far back as the first Falcon Heavy launch in 2018, Mr. Sweeney has been a fan of the company, he told us. His father works for an airline, which makes him interested in flying.
For how much money he gets from it, Mr Sweeney said, “$US5000 isn’t enough.”
“It doesn’t replace anything, like how much fun it makes.”
Tech advice: Mr. Sweeney told billionaire Musk about a program he could use to stop flight tracking programs from tracking him down.
“It looks like he took that advice,” Mr Sweeney said. “It looks like he is using the blocking program.”
So, is Mr. Sweeney still able to track Musk’s flights even though he has a program that blocks them?
“Yes, I am,” Sweeney said.
“It’s just a little more complicated than it used to.”