On Tuesday morning, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that his $44 Billion Twitter buyout cannot proceed until the social media giant can prove that less than 5% of its users are fake.
The world’s richest man said that his buyout offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filing, which showed that less than 5% of its daily active users were related to spam accounts. However, Musk estimated that around 20% of the accounts on the platform were fake and indicated that the figure could be even 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”.
The Tweet comes amidst a sparring contest between Elon Musk and incumbent Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal over the number of authentic accounts running on the world’s largest social media platform.
On Monday, Parag Agrawal said Twitter suspends more than half a million fake accounts every single day and locks millions of others that fail to pass human verification challenges. He further argued that internal estimates over the last four quarters showed bots accounts were indeed less than 5% of the platform’s total daily active users but that analysis could not be replicated externally as users’ data had to keep private.
A pragmatic Elon Musk, who had earlier vouched to terminate bot accounts should he own the platform, replied to Parag Agrawal’s tweet with a poop emoji. He followed up with another thread that read,
“So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter.”
Last week, Elon Musk applied breaks on his $44 billion Twitter deal amid his concerns that the firm was misstating the actual number of bot accounts. He was even reported to have said that a lower buyout price may not be “out of the question” at a press conference.