Employees monitored Elon Musk’s account

Employees monitored Elon Musk’s account

  • Twitter staff monitored @Elonjet in order to anticipate Elon Musk’s office visits, according to a new book.
  • The account tracked Musk’s flights between Twitter HQ and SpaceX’s office.
  • Musk has spoken out against jet-tracking in the past.

Elon Musk’s fans aren’t the only ones monitoring the billionaire’s private jet movements. Twitter staff also took to watching a social-media account that tracks Musk’s planes, according to a new book about the company.



After Musk bought Twitter, employees started following the account @Elonjet — which was run by a college student named Jack Sweeney — in order to gauge whether the billionaire would be at the company’s office, according to “Battle for the Bird.” The book, which is written by Bloomberg reporter Kurt Wagner, explores Twitter’s founding up until Musk’s pivot to rebranding the site as X.

Wagner wrote that staff began following the account because Musk frequently flew between Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco and offices for SpaceX and Tesla in Texas.

“Even for a billionaire, Elon Musk spent a lot of time on his private jet,” Wagner wrote. “He was constantly flying on his Gulfstream to meetings and rocket launches and other ‘rich guy stuff,’ like visiting the pope or attending the Super Bowl.”

During the beginning of his takeover, Musk was known to sleep at Twitter’s headquarters and often flew multiple times per week between SpaceX and Tesla facilities in California and Texas. At the time, Twitter staff were likely on high alert for Musk’s presence at the office after he laid off more than half the company’s workforce and instituted a return-to-office mandate.



Musk’s jet travels made Sweeney’s jet-tracking account @Elonjet more active than ever. Sweeney, who studies at the University of Central Florida, set up the account in 2020 and posts updates on Musk’s aircraft using publicly available data. On Sunday, the college student said on X that he’d noticed several Tesla executives also followed his jet-tracking account, including Tesla’s vehicle engineering VP, Lars Moravy, and its former senior director of AI, Andrej Karpathy.

Musk was not a fan of the account. In his book, Wagner wrote that Musk complained to former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal about the account and began buying shares of the social media company shortly after Agrawal refused to ban it.

Before he purchased the company in 2022, Musk reached out on multiple occasions to complain about issues with the site to Twitter executives, including Agrawal, former Twitter executive Vijaya Gadde, and Jack Dorsey, according to the book.

“On several occasions, employees had to drop what they were doing to manually remove bots from Musk’s feed,” the book said. “Musk even had his personal lawyer, Alex Spiro, get on the phone with Dorsey and Gadde multiple times over the years to hammer home his frustration over the bots and shorts, which he felt were manipulating Tesla’s stock price.”



A spokesperson for Twitter did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

Musk also reached out directly to Sweeney about the jet-tracking account. In 2021, Musk offered the University of Central Florida college student $5,000 to take down his @elonjet profile, which Sweeney declined.

The Tesla CEO later temporarily banned Sweeney from Twitter after he said the jet-tracking accounts had led to an incident where a man accosted a car that was carrying his son.

Since then, the college student has set up an account on the site that posts Musk’s flight data with a 24-hour delay.

Musk’s jets aren’t the only ones that Sweeney tracks. The college student also posts flight data associated with other celebrities, including Taylor Swift and Mark Zuckerberg.

The data has been used for any number of things, including shaming celebrities for carbon emissions. Last year, a process server in Musk’s custody suit with his former girlfriend Grimes said they used the private jet data to attempt to serve Musk with the custody lawsuit.

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