You may remember “Stalking Jets” back in February, wherein Elon Musk blocked 19-year-old student Jack Sweeney on Twitter after Sweeney requested $50,000 or a new car to stop publicly rebroadcasting data on Musk’s jet travel. Sweeney operates a novel bot that scans for the public ADS-B information of famous fliers and broadcasts it on Twitter or other platforms. Now, billionaire Mark Cuban seems to have reached an agreement with Sweeney through diplomacy.
Musk and Cuban both publicly expressed security concerns over the bot in February but only Musk made a public offer to Sweeney at that time. It didn’t work out. Since then, it appears Cuban privately offered business advice and “friendship for life,” to deactivate the tracking, and Sweeney appears to have accepted. While Sweeney told Business Insider that “[Cuban] said a lot of stuff to try and get me to take it down, but he didn’t really put in the effort,” the @MCubansJets channel now shows “Disabled” in its description.
Sweeney has certainly wasted no time setting up bots to track the private flights of other famous personalities including Tom Cruise, Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump, John Kerry, Taylor Swift, and Air Force VIP flights. More recently, he rolled out the automated “@CelebJets” channel that posts the flights of any celebrity he can find an N-number for. Sweeney is also working on an automated channel for posting the flights of politicians, he says.
Sweeney recently added details at the conclusion of many flights that estimates the amount of fuel consumed, cost of fuel, and CO2 emissions released during the flight. If he successfully launches a channel to automatically post the flights of politicians, that information could become very well-trafficked during debate season, indeed.