Gone are the days when celebrities can jet-set without their locations being known — at least for billionaires like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Jack Sweeney, 19, became an overnight sensation after his Twitter account @ElonJet went viral. The account, which has over 470,000 followers, uses a bot to automatically track the location of Musk’s private jet.
Some billionaires are easier to trace than others, Sweeney told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “With Elon Musk, it’s registered to a subsidiary of SpaceX: Falcon Landing. Mark Zuckerberg was a bit harder. And I just found his real one recently.”
Sweeney launched the ElonJet account in June 2020 and has since moved on to track celebrities like Tom Cruise and Jay Z, political figures like President Biden and John Kerry, and corporate jets owned by the likes of Pfizer, Exxon, and Costco.
“Originally, it was just interest in following Elon Musk because I thought he was a cool person with Tesla and SpaceX and all that,” Sweeney said. “And it’s interesting to see where he goes. You know, he’s either in Austin or Brownsville, doing all kinds of work. And it’s crazy to see where they go. And they’re just trying to be the most efficient they can, doing everything possible as quick as possible.”
The account soon began getting more attention, including from the Tesla CEO himself.
According to Sweeney, Musk initially asked him to take the ElonJet account down as a security precaution. He even asked Sweeney how it worked. Eventually, Musk offered Sweeney $5,000 to take the account down to which Sweeney countered by asking for $50,000.
Nothing ever came of the negotiation, however, other than a bit of internet fame for the ElonJet founder.
“It took a couple of weeks, and [Musk] was like, it doesn’t feel right to pay to take it down anymore,” Sweeney said.
Although Musk turned down Sweeney’s counteroffer, other Twitter users and Musk fans have reached out to Sweeney requesting he delete the account. They argue it has no real purpose other than to expose personal information.
In a pinned message to the ElonJet profile, Sweeney assures followers that “this account has every right to post jet whereabouts, ADS-B data is public, every aircraft in the world is required to have a transponder, Even AF1 (@AirForceTrack) Twitter policy states data found on other sites is allowed to be shared here as well.”
Edwin is a producer for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter @Edwin__Roman.
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