Jet-tracking teen Jack Sweeney stopped tweeting Mark Cuban flights


If you need Jack Sweeney to cease publicly monitoring your personal jet on Twitter, take a leaf out of Mark Cuban’s e-book and provide the 19-year-old one thing higher than cash: friendship.

Sweeney, a sophomore on the College of Central Florida, is {the teenager} accountable for 30 automated Twitter accounts that collectively monitor the flights of a whole bunch of celebrities, politicians and billionaires — from Elon Musk and Kylie Jenner to a collection of Russian oligarchs. And since he began his aspect hustle in June 2020, he says he is solely agreed to a single “cease monitoring me” request.

In a February direct message on Twitter, Cuban requested Sweeney to disable @MCubansJets in trade for his friendship and enterprise recommendation, in line with screenshots reviewed by CNBC Make It. “He mentioned, ‘I might be your buddy,’ and I requested if I might meet him at a basketball sport,” Sweeney, 19, tells CNBC Make It.

Sweeney says the pair negotiated into Might — within the digital trade, Cuban mentioned he’d be keen to satisfy Sweeney at a Dallas Mavericks sport subsequent season — earlier than putting a deal. It seems Sweeney has held up his finish: The account, which he designed as a bot that updates mechanically, hasn’t tweeted since April, and its bio says that its code has been disabled.

Cuban declined CNBC Make It is request for remark.

Sweeney’s loyalty seems to come back at a worth, and friendship could also be extra invaluable than the cash some billionaires are keen to pay: In January, Musk offered Sweeney $5,000 to cease tweeting the whereabouts of his personal planes. Sweeney declined, asking for $50,000 as a substitute. The account that tracks Musk’s flights, @ElonJet, continues to be energetic in the present day, with greater than 479,000 followers on Twitter.

By comparability, Sweeney’s @MCubansJets account solely has roughly 3,300 followers. Sweeney says that made it simpler for him to just accept Cuban’s takedown request: Ditching the less-popular account in trade totally free networking was a no brainer.

Sweeney says each Cuban and Musk expressed private security issues in regards to the flight monitoring, however does not see that as a compelling argument: His code solely transmits publicly accessible info from web sites like ADS-B Exchange, which put up the situation, altitude and velocity transmitted by each federally regulated plane.

And, Sweeney provides, celebrities normally aren’t notably personal about proudly owning jets within the first place. “Individuals have the personal planes, they put up all of those photos on them,” he says. “It isn’t a secret.”

Sweeney says just one different individual, a lawyer for enterprise capitalist Grant Cardone, has requested him to halt flight monitoring. Like Cuban, the request got here in a direct message on Twitter, in line with screenshots reviewed by CNBC Make It. And like @MCubansJets, the @CardoneJet account does not have many followers: presently fewer than 2,000.

But @CardoneJet stays energetic on Twitter. Sweeney says he by no means really responded to the lawyer’s request, which did not provide something in return for deactivating the account.

Sweeney says he hopes to finally monetize his Twitter accounts, doubtlessly by turning his private web site into an all-in-one movie star flight tracker or discovering a method to provide carbon offsets for among the flights he tracks. However for now, he provides, he solely plans to continue to grow the variety of flights the code can entry.

“[I’m motivated] as a result of individuals are nonetheless actually on this,” Sweeney says.

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