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Teenagers oppose Musk’s offer of US$5,000 to delete Twitter accounts

Jack Sweeney, 19, from Florida, turned down a $5,000 offer from Elon Musk to delete the billionaire’s private jet-tracking Twitter account.

ElonJet has more than 150,000 followers and uses a bot developed by Sweeney to track Musk’s flights. The feed then tweets out the time and place the plane took off or landed and the duration of each trip.

The college freshman has developed about a dozen other flight bot accounts to track the travels of famous tech giants, including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

The first direct message from Musk came on November 30, Protocol first reported.

“Can you take this down?” Musk asked Sweeney. “It’s a security risk.”

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO ended up offering the teenager $5,000 to help stop “crazy people” from tracking his flights. Sweeney countered the $50,000 request, saying he could use the money for college and possibly a Tesla Model 3.

“I don’t like the idea of ​​being shot by a scarab,” Musk said.

The last text exchange was on Wednesday, January 19, when Musk said it didn’t feel right to “pay to shut this down.” CNN Business viewed the messages.

“Options other than compensation like an internship would make internships so much easier,” Sweeney replied. Musk has yet to respond.

CNN has reached out to SpaceX for comment.

Sweeney said he’s been a fan of SpaceX since the first Falcon Heavy launch in 2018. His father worked for an airline, fueling his interest in aviation.

“5,000 isn’t enough for how much I get from it,” Sweeney said. “It doesn’t replace anything, just like the element of enjoyment.”

Sweeney provided Musk with some technical advice, telling the billionaire about a blocking program he could use to combat flight tracking programs.

“It looks like he took that advice,” Sweeney said, adding that it appears Musk is currently using a blocker.

So is Sweeney still able to track Musk’s flights despite the interception program? “That’s right,” Sweeney said. “It’s just a little more complicated.”

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