A seemingly simple decision by Parag Agrawal, former CEO of the social media platform previously known as Twitter, may have led to Elon Musk’s eventual takeover in January 2022. A Bloomberg report on an upcoming book Battle For The Bird indicates that Musk began his quest to acquire Twitter after Mr Agrawal denied his request to suspend the handle @ElonJet.
@ElonJet was an account run by a 21-year-old college student Jack Sweeney. Through his account, the student used publicly available information to track the Tesla CEO’s private jet usage, leaving him annoyed. Sweeney runs multiple accounts that track celebrities like pop sensation Taylor Swift, who recently threatened him with legal action.
Battle For The Bird, which will be launched on February 20, is written by Bloomberg reporter Kurt Wagner. An excerpt from the book, according to the report, says, “Musk had also unsuccessfully petitioned Agrawal to remove a Twitter account that was tracking his private plane; the billionaire started buying Twitter shares shortly after Agrawal denied his request.”
In October 2022, Elon Musk bought Twitter Inc. for $44 billion and since the takeover, most of Twitter’s staff have resigned or laid off. Besides ousting more than half the employees, he also suspended Jack Sweeney’s Twitter handle @ElonJet, alongside several journalists.
The revelation came after Taylor Swift’s attorney threatened legal action against Sweeney for tracking her movements. They have sent a cease-and-desist letter to Sweeney, reported The Guardian.
Last December, the attorneys of the Blank Space hitmaker accused the 21-year-old of engaging in “stalking and harassing behaviours” over his tracking of the American singer’s jet activity.
The report quoted attorney Katie Wright Morrone’s letter as saying, “While this may be a game to you, or an avenue that you hope will earn you wealth or fame, it is a life-or-death matter for our Client.”
The letter added that there was “no legitimate interest in or public need for this information, other than to stalk, harass, and exert dominion and control”.