Why Elon Musk Offered A 19-Year-Old $5,000 To Shut Down A Twitter Account


Elon Musk, the CEO and co-founder of Tesla Inc TSLA, is often criticized for his frequent private jet trips. The critics say that Musk markets himself as a man on a mission to alleviate climate change, but flies frequently on a private jet that uses thousands of gallons of fuel. 

What Happened: 19-year-old Jack Sweeney created a Twitter account, @ElonJet, to track Musk’s flights on his private jet. Air traffic is available to the public, and you can look up a jet’s history if you know its tail number. Sweeney uses a bot and ADS-B Exchange a site that collects flight data to track Musk’s flights. 

Protocol.com reported on Wednesday that Musk direct messaged Sweeney a few minutes after midnight asking “Can you take this down? It is a security risk.” 

Sweeney responded, in jest, saying it would cost Musk a Tesla Model 3, which runs about $45,000. Musk asked Sweeney how much he made off of his Twitter accounts, and Sweeney responded no more than $20 a month. 

Musk reportedly offered Sweeney $5,000 to shut down the account, and Sweeney counter-offered $50,000.

What's Next: Musk is a smart man and hopefully knows that even if Sweeney shuts his account down, a copycat account will undoubtedly pop back up.

The @ElonJet Twitter account has amassed nearly 100,000 followers, so if Sweeney’s gets shut down, someone will want to capitalize on the popularity of the idea. 

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: TravelMediaGeneralElon Musk
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!