Elon Musk says Twitter purchase won’t go ahead without guarantees about fake accounts
The platform’s CEO claims that more than half a million accounts that appear to be fake are suspended each day
Billionaire Elon Musk said on Tuesday (17) that the acquisition of Twitter will not proceed unless he receives guarantees about the number of fake accounts on the platform, which complicates the complex offer to buy the social network.
Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is currently the richest person on the planet, according to Forbes magazine, with a fortune valued at $230 billion.
The businessman, who is considered by fans to be an iconoclastic genius and an erratic megalomaniac by his critics, stunned the finance world in April by announcing his intention to buy Twitter.
But its $44 billion bid is on hold until a solution is presented on the number of fake accounts, known as bots.
“Yesterday, the CEO of Twitter publicly refused to show proof of <5%,” tweeted Musk, who has nearly 94 million followers on the social network, about his demand to confirm that less than 5% of accounts are fake on the social network. .
“The deal cannot go ahead until he does this,” he added.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal claims that the platform suspends more than half a million accounts that appear fake each day, often before they are even seen, and blocks millions a week that fail checks to ensure they are controlled by humans. and not by software.
Internal analysis shows that less than 5% of active accounts on an average day are classified as “spam,” but these accounts cannot be replicated by third parties due to privacy requirements, Agrawal said.
Musk — who says robots are a plague on Twitter and who considers getting rid of them a priority if he takes control of the platform — responded to Agrawal’s explanation, presented in a tweet, with a poop emoji.
“So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money?” Musk asked in a later message about the need to prove that Twitter users are real people.
“This is critical to Twitter’s financial health,” he added.
The procedure for calculating how many accounts are robots was shared with Musk, Agrawal insisted.
Wedbus analyst Dan Ives said in a note to investors that the fake accounts issue is confusing the deal.
“The robot issue, after all, was known even to New York taxi drivers and seems to us more like the ‘dog ate homework’ excuse to back out of the Twitter deal or to get a lower price, ”said the analyst.
Musk says his motivation for the purchase is the desire to guarantee freedom of expression on the platform and increase monetization of a social network that is very influential but struggles to achieve profitable growth.
The businessman also declared himself in favor of lifting the veto on the platform against former US President Donald Trump, who was expelled from Twitter in January 2021, after his supporters, spurred on by the Republican’s tweets alleging electoral fraud, attacked the Congress of the United States. United States on January 6, 2021.