Taylor Swift has received support from Jack Sweeney, a Florida college student, after the pop star threatened to sue him for tracking and publicly posting information about her private jet flights. Sweeney has set up social media accounts to monitor and record the use of aircraft by celebrities and politicians like Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Kim Kardashian, and Kylie Jenner. His accounts gained traction two years ago, at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when he tracked Russian oligarchs’ private jets. Sweeney has also revealed the estimated carbon footprints of flights, as public figures continue to face criticism for the environmental impact of their lavish vacations.
Sweeney used publicly available aerospace telemetry from the ADS-B website, as well as a sophisticated programme he created to match transponder frequencies and separately available anonymous flight plans, to track the mega-rich’s private flights. Swift’s lawyers served Sweeney with a cease-and-desist letter, calling his actions “reckless.” According to the lawyers, Swift lives “in a constant state of fear for her personal safety.” A man was arrested last month for allegedly stalking Taylor Swift.
While Swift’s lawyers accused Sweeney of “stalking and harassing behaviour,” he told NBC News that the goal of his accounts is to provide “transparency” and that he uses publicly available data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Sweeney told NBC News that he does not intend to cause harm; he simply shares the facts. Swift’s fans, known as “Swifties,” flocked to one of Sweeney’s recent posts about Swift’s private jet travel on X to voice their opinions.
One X user responded to the post, saying it’s “indefensible” to post Taylor Swift’s location in real time knowing she has dangerous stalkers. Jack could track carbon emissions without disclosing Taylor’s location. Musk also commented on the situation, saying in response to another post that Sweeney “is an awful human being.” Taylor Swift is correct to be concerned.
Sweeney responded to Musk by mentioning the billionaire’s rejected $5,000 offer for him to close his ElonJet account. In a follow-up post, he tagged Musk in an apparent attempt to get the Tesla CEO’s attention. Sweeney responded to Musk’s X post by sharing a screenshot of a Business Insider article from November that reported how the singer “resorted to tracking Elon Musk’s private jets in an attempt to serve him with custody papers.”