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Elon Musk got into a debate with a teenager who’s tweeting the location of his private jet. It didn’t go well

January 31, 2022, 5:13 PM UTC

Elon Musk has learned a lesson that parents around the world have known for a while: It’s a Herculean effort to get a teenager who has dug his heels in to change his mind.

Musk reportedly reached out to the 19-year-old creator of a Twitter account that tracks his private jet, hoping to persuade him to delete the account, citing it as a possible security risk. That request turned into a longer-than-expected conversation that included financial incentives, significantly inflated counterproposals for those incentives, and, ultimately, the Tesla founder giving up in frustration.

Jack Sweeney reportedly got the first DM from Musk via Twitter last fall. The University of Central Florida freshman, in June 2020, launched @ElonJet, which uses a bot and public data from the Federal Aviation Administration to provide updates on Musk’s private jet. (The account has over 90,000 followers.)

After getting the DM from the world’s richest man, Sweeney explained he had put a lot of effort into the project and joked he would pull it down in exchange for a Tesla Model 3. The back and forth continued with Musk ultimately offering $5,000 to scuttle the site. Sweeney countered with a $50,000 request.

That was a price the SpaceX founder apparently wasn’t willing to pay, so he walked away from the conversation.

The conversation’s latest exchange took place a week and a half ago, when Sweeney proposed an internship rather than a cash payment in return for deleting the account.

As of last week, Musk hadn’t opened the message.

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