The multi-billionaire said there are 20 per cent fake/spam accounts, four times what Twitter claims. He said his offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate
Elon Musk Tuesday said that he would not move forward with his $44 billion until Twitter Inc provide public proof that less than 5 per cent of the accounts on the microblogging site are fake or spam. The latest tweet on Musk comes hours after he suggested he could seek a lower price for the social media giant.
In April, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he will be buying Twitter for $44 billion.
“20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher. My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate,” Musk tweeted.
He further wrote, “Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5% (spam accounts). This deal cannot move forward until he does.”
20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher.
My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.
Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%.
This deal cannot move forward until he does.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2022
Last week, Musk had put his offer of buying Twitter on hold due to pending information on spam accounts. At a Miami tech conferences on Monday, Musk said he estimates that bots could make up at least 20 per cent of Twitter’s users. “Currently what I’m being told is that there’s just no way to know the number of bots. It’s like, as unknowable as the human soul.” he said.
When asked whether the Twitter deal is viable at a different price, the multi-billionaire, at the conference, said: “I mean, it is not out of the question. The more questions I ask, the more my concerns grow.”
“They claim that they’ve got this complex methodology that only they can understand… It can’t be some deep mystery that is, like, more complex than the human soul or something like that.”
On Monday, Musk spent much of his day in a back-and-forth with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s effort to fight bots and how it has consistently estimated that less than 5 per cent of Twitter accounts are fake.
Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal has said the platform suspends more than a half-million seemingly bogus accounts daily, usually before they are even seen, and locks millions more weekly that fail checks to make sure they are controlled by humans and not by software.
Internal measures show that fewer than 5 per cent of accounts active on any given day at Twitter are spam, but that analysis can’t be replicated externally due to the need to keep user data private, Agrawal contended.
Musk, who has said bots plague Twitter and that he would make getting rid of them a priority if he owned the platform, responded to that tweet by Agrawal with a poo emoji.
“So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money?” Musk tweeted in a subsequent response about the need to prove Twitter users are real people.
“This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter.”
The process used to estimate how many accounts are bots has been shared with Musk, Agrawal insisted.
“It appears the spam/bot issue is cascading and clearly making the Twitter deal a confusing one,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note to investors.
“The bot issue at the end of the day was known by the New York City cab driver and feels more to us like the ‘dog ate the homework’ excuse to bail on the Twitter deal or talk down a lower price.”