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Musk’s ultimatum to Twitter on bots

In a tweet, the Tesla CEO said, "20 per cent fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher. My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.

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San Francisco: Elon Musk on Tuesday announced his decision to not proceed with his $44 billion Twitter deal unless the platform proves that less than 5 per cent of its users are bots.

In a tweet, the Tesla CEO said, “20 per cent fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher. My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.

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“Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of < 5 per cent. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”

This comes amid Tesla CEO’s intention to free Twitter of spam bots and fake accounts. He further wishes to tilt the political balance of the microblogging platform from its increasing left wing bias to a more center position thus supporting free speech in the truest sense. If his acquisition is complete, then Musk may also re-activate US ex-President Donald Trump’s account.

Musk on Saturday said that Twitter’s legal team had accused him of violating a non-disclosure agreement by revealing that the sample size for the social media platform’s checks on automated users was 100. 

“Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!” he tweeted.  He had earlier said that the “bots are angry at being counted”.

On Friday, Musk tweeted: “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5 per cent of users.”

Twitter recently agreed to an acquisition by Elon Musk in a deal worth USD 44 billion, although it is still subject to shareholder approval.

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