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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reportedly offered a 19-year-old upwards of $5,000 for the teen to shut down a Twitter account that tracks his private flights, according to reports.
What are the details?
Nineteen-year-old Jack Sweeney told Protocol that Musk reached out to him via direct message on Twitter and asked if he would be willing to disable a Twitter account that tracks the billionaire tech entrepreneur's flights.
Sweeney, a college freshman who is said to run at least 15 flight-tracking accounts on Twitter, including an account called ElonJet, said that Musk told him, "Can you take this down? It is a security risk."
According to the report, the account in question is run by bots Sweeney programmed to monitor flight tracking data and tweet every time a particular plane has departed from an airport or landed at another. The ElonJet flight tracker has 123,000 followers at the time of this reporting.
"I don't love the idea of being shot by a nutcase," Musk reportedly added.
Sweeney said that he responded, "Yes I can but it'll cost you a Model 3 only joking unless?"
Musk later reportedly responded by saying that he would pay the college freshman $5,000 to disable the flight tracker.
An emboldened Sweeney said he then responded, "Any chance to up that to $50k? It would be great support in college and would possibly allow me to get a car maybe even a Model 3."
According to the report, Sweeney ultimately said he would do it for free — so long as the tech guru gave him an internship.
Musk reportedly did not respond to Sweeney's last message.
"The most recent [direct message] Musk and Sweeney exchanged was last Wednesday, when Sweeney said he’d prefer an internship over payment in return for deleting the account," the Protocol report concluded. "Musk hasn’t opened the message, Sweeney says, but he’s not offended. In fact, he thinks he knows why Musk went silent: 'I think he’s on vacay in Hawaii if you check ElonJet.'"
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