Podcast host Joe Rogan addressed the Twitter account, @ElonJet, which tracked the location of Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s private jet.
Musk suspended the account run by 20-year-old college student Jack Sweeney, who used publicly available flight tracking information to locate the Gulfstream’s precise location. Rogan questioned the point of the account in a discussion with standup comedian Brian Simpson on Tuesday’s edition of “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Rogan also questioned how the owner of the account acquired the data, and suggested that he is compiling the Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) data, which tracks the aircraft’s altitude, GPS location and ground speed in order to pinpoint its exact whereabouts. Simpson said it is “a little creepy” despite most of it being public information.
“What is the point?” Rogan asked. “He [Sweeney] said he started to do it because he was a fan of Elon’s and then he wanted $50,000.
“Elon offered him money, offered him a job to stop,” Simpson added.
“I don’t know what happened with that. I don’t know what the specifics were, but there was some sort of discussion about Elon giving him money or something like that,” Rogan added.Musk reportedly offered Sweeney $5,000 to permanently remove the account, but the University of Central Florida student rose it to $50,000, CNN reported. He then received an email from an anonymous person with a screenshot of an email by Ella Irwin, Twitter’s new head of trust and safety, asking to heavily restrict the account immediately.
Rogan said Musk offering money will likely not prevent other individuals from conducting similar practices to Sweeney. He appeared to side with Musk, saying that tracking his location is “not a nice thing to do.”
“Here’s the problem, how does this prevent other people from doing the exact same thing and doing the same thing to try and get more money?” he asked. “Like when does that end? Is that an industry now, tracking Elon’s jet?…It’s weird, though, it’s definitely weird and I would not like it at all. I don’t think it’s a nice thing to do.” (RELATED: Liberal Media Is Straight Up Lying About Why Musk Nuked Some Of These Accounts)
Rogan and Simpson discussed the limits of tracking a celebrity or notable person in public.
“What are you allowed to do? Do you think you’re allowed to like film someone and put them, like, every time they’re out public and put on a website, tell everybody where they are? Because he could hire somebody to do that,” Rogan said.
“That could be stalking,” Simpson replied.
“Is that stalking?” Rogan asked.
“I think it depends on how you gather the information,” Simpson said.
Sweeney used air-to-ground traffic systems, which track an aircraft’s location and destination, using public data. Musk recently suspended eight journalists over accusations that they live-shared a flight tracker disclosing Musk’s private jet location. Several of these journalists denied these accusations, and outlets like The Washington Post and The New York Times criticized the Twitter CEO for taking that action.
Following the incident, Twitter updated its guidelines to bar users from live-sharing private information without “authorization or permission.”