• Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

From @ElonJet to #FreeSpeech: How Elon Musk’s Private Jet Tracking Led to Twitter Takeover and Beyond

ByEditor

Feb 12, 2024
Book suggests that tracking Musk’s private jet may have caused a Twitter takeover

Elon Musk’s decision to buy shares in Twitter in January 2022 was reportedly sparked by an incident in which he complained to ex-Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal about an account tracking his private jet. According to Kurt Wagner’s book “Battle for the Bird,” Musk had petitioned Agrawal to remove the @ElonJet account, and when that request was denied, he began building a stake in Twitter.

By April, Musk had become the biggest shareholder of Twitter, holding a 9.2% stake. In the same month, he made an offer to buy Twitter at $54.20 a share, valuing the company at about $44 billion. The acquisition was not finalized until October following a series of dramatic events.

After the acquisition was completed, Musk wrote in a post that he would not ban the account tracking his jet, despite considering it a personal safety risk, because of his commitment to free speech. However, a month later, the account did get banned, much to the surprise of its owner college student Jack Sweeney.

Sweeney then moved to Meta’s Threads app using the handle @ElonMusksJetNextDay and ran an account @ElonJetNextDay on X which tracks and posts about Musk’s jet 24 hours after its movements. As of now there are more than 167 thousand followers on this app . Neither Musk nor Agrawal immediately responded to requests for comment from Business Insider.

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