Mark Cuban Just Did What Elon Musk Could Not

Billionaire gets teen tracking private jets to stop tracking his, promising future business advice
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2022 9:06 AM CDT
Mark Cuban Just Did What Elon Musk Could Not
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, left, before an NBA basketball playoff game against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco on May 18, 2022.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(Newser) – Elon Musk tried to get a Florida teen to stop tracking his private jet, to no avail. Mark Cuban, on the other hand, appears to have been successful. Insider reports that 19-year-old Jack Sweeney has stopped sharing data on his Cuban-dedicated Twitter account after the Dallas Mavericks owner reached out to him and the two engaged in a monthslong conversation about Sweeney ceasing to publicly display the whereabouts of Cuban's planes. The news outlet has screenshots of the Twitter direct messages between the two, in which Cuban noted the privacy and safety issues surrounding the monitoring that Sweeney does. "By ending this you have me as a friend for life," Cuban noted to Sweeney in the exchange, which was provided to Insider by Sweeney. Cuban confirmed to the outlet the messages were real.

"You probably have Elon as a friend for life and I'm guessing that is far more valuable to you than the value of a Tesla," Cuban continued in his exchange with Sweeney. "Some day you may start a business and you would have my help." Sweeney appeared to agree to the deal, and indeed, he hasn't tweeted any info from the account since April; it's now labeled "disabled." He tells Insider he's still tracking Cuban privately, and that although he remains "open to taking down some of the accounts ... I'm not going to do it for nothing." He also said he's been "disappointed" with Cuban's overtures so far, noting, "He said a lot of stuff to try and get me to take it down, but he didn't really put in the effort."

Cuban tells Insider he'll keep his promise to not go after Sweeney as long as he keeps the tracking information offline, noting, "That's the deal I made. I will answer his business questions." Meanwhile, even though he rebuffed Musk's pleas on the same issue, Sweeney suspects that if the Tesla and SpaceX CEO ends up taking over Twitter, his Musk account won't be around much longer, per NDTV. "Elon has said all this stuff about free speech, but at the same time he does have control," Sweeney said in an April interview, soon after the news that Musk had brokered a deal to buy the social media company. "He could do something to suspend my account." Sweeney also posted links to other platforms where people could go to get the tracking info for Musk if his Twitter account gets shuttered. (Sweeney is also tracking Russian oligarchs.)

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