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

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. 

Posted In: TravelMediaGeneralElon Musk