Taylor Swift’s team delivered a cease-and-desist letter to college student Jack Sweeney, ordering him to stop posting about Swift’s private jet flights. Sweeney has several social media accounts that have drawn controversy for posting information about celebrities’ private jet flights.
Sweeney’s accounts use publicly available information, including FAA flight data, to share flight info about various private jets belonging to celebrities and billionaires. These social media posts often include the takeoff and landing locations and times, as well as estimates for carbon dioxide emissions, fuel consumption, and flight costs. He used various bots to go through the publicly available data and compile it for his posts.
Swift and her team claim that posting her private jet’s flights poses a safety risk by allowing stalkers to gain access to her whereabouts and that Sweeney is engaged in stalking and harassing behavior against her. They say his posts pose an “imminent threat to the safety and wellbeing” for Swift. There have been several high-profile examples of stalkers following Taylor Swift, including people showing up outside her home.
Taylor Swift’s Lawyers Threaten Private Jet Flight Tracker Over ‘Stalking and Harassing Behavior’
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) February 6, 2024
Other celebrities have also threatened legal action over the jet tracking accounts. Elon Musk claimed an account tracking his private jet’s movements was dangerous to his safety and offered Sweeney $5,000 to shut it down. A stalker had followed his car and climbed onto the hood, and Elon claimed that the jet tracker allowed the stalker to find him, although the police said they had no evidence the stalker had used the tracker.
Eventually, Musk promised to keep the jet tracking accounts open when he bought Twitter. However, he suspended many of Sweeney’s jet-tracking Twitter accounts, including ones that followed Musk, Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. Afterward, Musk banned several journalists from the site, including several who had reported on his promises to Sweeney.
For his part, Sweeney says his accounts are not meant to be malicious but rather to inform the public about billionaires’ jet usage through publicly available data. Many critics of celebrities have applauded his accounts, saying they provide necessary accountability for billionaires who emit hundreds or even thousands of times more carbon emissions than the average person.
Taylor Swift’s lawsuit comes in the midst of some of her biggest headlining events yet. She will be playing on tour in Japan this week and then hopes to fly back to Las Vegas in time for the Super Bowl, where her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, will be playing.