Taylor Swift’s travel is sparking internet backlash on TikTok and Reddit this week after the pop star apparently took a 28-mile flight. Now the internet user infamous for tracking her flights online has sparked a response from Team Swift.
Jack Sweeney, at the center of this new controversy over making Swift’s flight information public, insists that “my intentions are not to cause harm,” and he’s merely acting in the public interest.
Sweeney, responding to a Daily Dot interview request via LinkedIn on Wednesday, alleged that “Swift’s team” is working to silence Sweeney from sharing what he contends is relevant public information.
“Swift’s team suggests that I have no legitimate interest in sharing jet information, which is fundamentally incorrect. Her fans, who have grown the TaylorSwiftJets accounts and subreddit, are the ones truly interested. These tracking accounts consistently have more supporters and fans. When the Embassy of Japan in the USA expresses confidence that Swift can make a flight from Tokyo to the Super Bowl, it indicates public interest. Therefore, one should reasonably expect that their jet will be tracked, whether or not I’m the one doing it, as it is public information after all,” he said.
“I actually like some of Swift’s songs,” Sweeney noted, before adding, “But I believe in the importance of transparency and public information, seemingly more so than Meta, as Meta suspended my @taylorswiftjets account on Instagram, Threads and Facebook.”
ABC News, reporting on Swift’s cease-and-desist letter to Sweeney on Wednesday afternoon, shared a quote from Katie Morrone, Swift’s lawyer, alleging the star’s safety was at risk. The letter, sent to Sweeney in December, said, “Because the Offending Accounts share ‘live’ updates on her destination and the exact time our Client will arrive at a given location, you essentially provide individuals intent on physically harming her, or with nefarious or violent intentions, a roadmap to carry out their plans.”
That hasn’t stopped a wave of haters on social media.
“I just feel like she wants to destroy the environment,” wrote TikTok user @kalennotcabbage in a viral clip with more than 430,000 views.
@kalenotcabbage shes dominating the destroy the environment any% speedrun #taylorswift #taylorswiftjet ♬ original sound – kale ♡ (they/he)
Sweeney, a University of Central Florida student, has run afoul of revealing public figures’ flight information before. Sweeney, writing a guest editorial for Newsweek this past December about his accounts revealing flight info for SpaceX, Tesla, and X (formerly) Twitter CEO Elon Musk, sparked controversy.
He wrote then, “I didn’t think my account would be banned because Musk calls himself a ‘free speech absolutist’ and I used the platform for what he claims it’s for: free speech. I didn’t think it would look good for him to ban my account and, already, I’ve seen people screenshotting that previous tweet he put out and saying things like, ‘So much for Free Speech Twitter.'”
He continued his article by observing, “Musk had tweeted that, ‘Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation.’ But I don’t think my account specifically is putting his safety at risk. I’m in the middle here: the data comes from a public source, and then I post it on Twitter.” He also claimed in the essay that he first started sharing Musk’s flight info because he was a fan of SpaceX and Tesla.
Sweeney sees similarities between Musk’s and Swift’s actions, telling the Daily Dot, “This situation bears a striking resemblance to December 2022 when Musk threatened legal action against me, following his claim that someone was targeting him. However, open-source intelligence (OSINT) has disproven these allegations.”
Sweeney also questioned the timing of the cease-and-desist letter, wondering if it’s tied to negative press Swift has received about her private jet use even as many speculate whether she’ll attempt to fly from a scheduled show in Tokyo to the Las Vegas-hosted Super Bowl this Sunday. (Swift’s boyfriend, Travis Kelce, will feature in the championship football game for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Swift has already attended a number of Chiefs contests this season.)
In July 2022, a full nine months before Swift embarked on her massive Eras Tour, Yard declared Swift No. 1 on a list of “the top 10 celebrity CO2e offenders.”
Sweeney pointed out to the Daily Dot that the cease-and-desist letter “surfaced days after headlines criticized her jet use and its carbon emissions. A year prior, her team informed the media that her jet is seldom used by her and is often loaned out. These statements contradict each other, much like her team’s response to owning a single jet, which has only been true for the past two weeks. Her family has owned N898TS and N621MM for years, with ownership only changing recently. The claim of owning just one jet seems to be an attempt to downplay the family’s jet use.”
Sweeney also went on to criticize Swift for not guarding the identity of her planes better. “Registering your jet to a LLC who is clearly linked to you is part of the problem,” he pointed out. “Especially when the LLC is the Initial’s to the names in your family.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Taylor Swift’s management team via phone.