The drama of Elon Musk and Twitter has not ended, even after the billionaire secured funding for the purchase. He has now insisted he would only continue with the deal if Twitter could prove how it arrived at the percentage of bot accounts on its platform.
According to Musk, about 20 percent of Twitter accounts are bots. However, the social media network claims a significantly lower figure of 5 percent. Musk has asked Twitter to prove its figures, or he would not pay the $44 billion agreed for the takeover.
Posting on Twitter, Musk wrote in response to an article by fansite Teslarati, “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.”
However, Musk has made similar claims at a tech conference, reported by Bloomberg. He added that he has learned there is no way for Twitter to determine the number of bots on its platform.
Despite Musk’s claims, Twitter has said it is committed to seeing the deal through in a timely fashion.
Meanwhile, some observers have suggested Musk is only trying to negotiate a lower price than the two parties agreed by bringing up the bots angle. He mentioned at the tech conference that he would consider a reduced price.
All these came after Musk posted a tweet saying the acquisition was temporarily on hold due to bots issues. However, he quickly added he was committed to the deal.
Musk had taken to trolling the CEO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal, who used his account to discuss the issue of bots on Twitter and how the company identifies and deals with them. He mentioned that his team thinks there is no accurate way for anyone outside Twitter to determine how many bot accounts are on the platform. This was an indirect reference to Musk’s claim, and the billionaire replied to the thread with a turd emoji, showing his reaction to the explanation.
Musk demanded how advertisers would know when they get their money’s worth. He also suggested making a sample of 100 accounts and determining how many of them are bots.
A crucial part of how Musk intends to make Twitter better is eliminating bots, and he has now hinged the whole deal on it.