Taylor Swift Slammed for Threatening to Sue College Student

Taylor Swift is being criticized online after her lawyers sent a college student a cease-and-desist letter because he uses public flight data to track her private jet usage.

Jack Sweeney, who in the past infuriated Elon Musk by disclosing information about his flights, recently wrote about the environmental impact of travel tied to Swift’s relationship with Kansas City Chief’s tight end Travis Kelce and her Eras tour.

A student at the University of Central Florida, Sweeney has been keeping track of the takeoffs and landings of the planes and helicopters that hundreds of billionaires, politicians and other public figures own for years. He uses publicly available data from the Federal Aviation Administration to do so.

However, Swift’s lawyers have suggested that Sweeney’s social media accounts are aiding Swift’s stalkers and threatening her safety, per The Washington Post. If Sweeney doesn’t stop tracking her flights, they have threatened to take legal action, claiming that Swift and her family have suffered “direct and irreparable harm, as well as emotional and physical distress” as a result of his jet tracker account.

Taylor Swift at the Grammys on February 4, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. Her lawyers recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to a college student.

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

“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. Ms. Swift has dealt with stalkers and other individuals who wish her harm,” part of the letter reads.

But people on X, formerly Twitter, are slamming the Cruel Summer singer for sending the letter, with many saying she’s trying to frame herself as a victim.

Newsweek contacted Swift’s publicist via email and Sweeney via social media for comment on Wednesday.

“We are sliding into neofeudalism where only the billionaires have rights while everyone else is disposable and subject to legal threats,” one person wrote.

“Taylor Swift suing the college student who is using public domain info to track her private jet flights that let off metric tons of carbon emissions by saying it’s stalking… Celebrity white women have one trick and it is victimizing themselves where they are not the victim,” said another.

Swift is not currently known to be suing Sweeney and only sent a cease-and-desist letter. That is only a threat of potential legal action.

“Taylor Swift is very insufferable because how are you suing a university student for broadcasting public aviation data on social media? Her ego is as big as Elon’s, considering he did the same thing 2 months ago. She needs to gain humility and gain it fast,” someone else posted.

“This is grim. The tracker is holding celebrities accountable and this rich person wants to sue them for it? A bad look,” a fourth person commented.

A fifth added: “She’s the one emitting terrifying amounts of carbon but she’s the victim???? Lmao.”

Other people have taken the opportunity to stand up for Swift, as many can see why she would be concerned for her safety. For example, in January, a man accused of stalking Swift was arrested three times in five days near her townhouse in New York City.

“She has guards wherever she goes and they carry wound kits with them because she has been stalked and harassed for years. You have an issue with her wanting to protect her own safety?” one person asked on X.

“If someone posted your location every time you left the house you would feel unsafe too but it’s fine because she’s famous [I guess],” wrote another social media user.

“So she should allow herself to be stalked and her whereabouts publicly broadcast?” another person queried.

The pop superstar’s private jet usage has been a talking point for years. In 2022, she faced backlash after a report by environmentally oriented marketing firm Yard found at that time that her extensive use of a private jet made her the biggest celebrity polluter of the year so far.

The report used publicly available data to compile a list of the top greenhouse gas-emitting celebrities, based on their routine use of private jets. Swift came out on top, with a total of 170 flights on her private jet that added up to nearly 16 days in the air.

“Taylor’s jet is loaned out regularly to other individuals,” a spokesperson for Swift told Newsweek at the time. “To attribute most or all of these trips to her is blatantly incorrect.”

The conversation about Swift’s flight habits continued in 2023, a the singer-songwriter was busy flying back and forth to see her boyfriend, Travis Kelce. Swift regularly flew between New York and Kansas City to spend time with her beau. She also made trips in between performances in South America for her ongoing Eras World Tour. She received backlash after it was revealed her private jet flights produced 138 tons of CO2 emissions in just three months.

For the Super Bowl LVIII on February 11, Swift is facing a journey that will see her traveling through time if she is to be on hand to support her boyfriend as his team competes in the game.

Swift will perform in Tokyo on February 7-10. Following the final show, she would need to jump on a U.S.-bound flight soon afterward to make the approximate 11.5-hour flight that would get her to the Nevada gambling haven with several hours to spare.