Billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk said that the deal to buy Twitter is “temporarily on hold” until detailed information comes to light that backs Twitter’s claim that bots or fake accounts make up fewer than 5 percent of users on the platform.
“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5 percent of users,” Musk wrote in a tweet.
Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
In his missive, Musk linked to a Reuters report from early May stating that Twitter had estimated in a filing that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 percent of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter.
Twitter said in the April 28 filing (pdf) that “there are a number of false or spam accounts in existence on our platform.”
“We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5 percent of our mDAU [monetizable daily active users] during the quarter,” the company added.
Twitter’s disclosure came days after Musk said one of his priorities would be to remove “spam bots” from the platform, which he has offered to buy for around $44 billion.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Twitter for comment.
Musk’s announcement was met with a mixed response by Twitter users, with economist Peter Schiff seeing it as proof that Musk “never actually intended to buy Twitter” and that he was “bluffing the entire time,” while trader Sven Henrich, who has been critical of fake accounts on the platform, gave Musk’s message a thumbs up, saying, “due diligence is always worthwhile.”
‘Authenticate All Real Humans’
Musk has said that, if his bid to buy Twitter is successful, he intends to authenticate all real humans on the platform.
“If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying,” Musk said in an April 21 tweet. He followed that message up with a pledge to “authenticate all real humans.”
Spam bots on Twitter are automated accounts that can take actions like real humans, such as sending out tweets, following other users, as well as liking and retweeting other users’ posts. Such accounts can be programmed to try and drive traffic to a product or service as part of a commercial endeavor or spread content as part of a social or political influence operation.
By Tom Ozimek