Taylor Swift is considering taking legal action against a student who has been monitoring her private plane.
Lawyers representing singer Taylor Swift have issued a warning to a university student who has been monitoring Swift’s air travel through social media. Fans of Swift, known as “Swifties,” have expressed disapproval of the legal action, calling it unwarranted.
According to the Washington Post, Swift’s legal team has sent a formal request to Jack Sweeney, a student at the University of Central Florida who manages multiple social media profiles that monitor the private jet activity of Swift and other famous individuals.
For years, Sweeney has run the accounts to track the jet use of public figures and measure their carbon footprints. Sweeney’s coverage, which uses publicly available data from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and broadcast signals from aircrafts, has been widely praised and earned the 21-year-old a Forbes 30 under 30 nod.
However, in the month of December, the lawyers representing Swift from the law firm Venable in Washington alleged that Sweeney had been engaging in behavior that could be considered as stalking and harassment due to his monitoring of Swift’s private jet movements.
Katie Wright Morrone stated in the letter, as reported by the Post, that although you may see this as a game or a means to gain wealth and fame, it is a matter of life and death for our Client.
In recent years, there have been multiple instances of stalkers targeting Swift. One such incident occurred last month when a 33-year-old man was arrested for stalking and harassing the singer near her home in New York City.
Morrone stated that there is no valid reason or societal necessity for this data, except for the purpose of intimidating, pestering, and exerting power and influence.
When questioned about the correspondence, a representative for Swift named Tree Paine informed the Guardian through a statement: “We are unable to provide a comment on the current police investigation, but can confirm that the timing of the stalkers suggests a potential link. His social media posts reveal specific details of when and where she would be.”
According to Paine, previous claims of Swift’s excessive use of a private jet are untrue as she frequently lends it to others. Additionally, Paine stated that for her Eras Tour, Swift purchased twice the necessary amount of carbon credits to offset the impact of her private jet usage.
According to Sweeney, the letter received by the Post from Swift’s legal team was most likely meant to intimidate and was prompted by criticism over the environmental consequences of her use of a private jet. He also noted that details about Swift’s jet usage were accessible to the public and did not provide a comprehensive view of her whereabouts, much like a publicly announced concert schedule.
People who support Swift on the internet have also condemned the letter sent by her legal team as “heartless”.
“I am extremely let down, to be frank. This is a heartless action. The information is already public and there is little she can do about it, but to threaten a college student over it is simply cruel,” expressed a Swift supporter on Reddit.
Another Reddit user commented, “It would be difficult to sue someone for sharing public information. Good luck with that.”
In the past, Sweeney and billionaire Elon Musk had a disagreement when Sweeney utilized automated Twitter/X accounts to monitor Musk’s private jet movements.
According to CNN, Sweeney demanded $50,000 from Musk to stop revealing the whereabouts of his private jet. Musk ultimately shut down the account when he assumed control of X in 2022, citing concerns for his own and his family’s safety.
According to the Post, Facebook and Instagram have recently deactivated Sweeney’s social media accounts that monitor Swift’s private jet movements, stating that they go against privacy regulations.