Elon Musk has suggested he could charge a lower price for his purchase of Twitter, saying there could be at least four times as many fake accounts as the social media giant revealed.
- Elon Musk thinks 20% of accounts on Twitter could be spam and fake accounts
- On Friday, he announced his deal to buy Twitter for $61.4 billion was on hold pending reports of fake accounts.
- He says he would be open to buying the social media site at a lower price
“You can’t pay the same price for something that’s much worse than they claim,” he said at a conference in Miami.
On Friday, Mr. Musk said his $44 billion ($61.4 billion) the deal to buy Twitter was on hold pending spam account information.
He said he suspected fake accounts accounted for at least 20% of all users on the site, compared to 5% according to Twitter’s official estimate.
When asked at the All-In Summit if the Twitter deal was viable at a different price, Mr. Musk replied, “I mean, it’s not out of the question.”
“The more questions I ask, the more my concerns grow,” he said.
“They claim they have this complex methodology that only they can understand.
Twitter shares extended losses late afternoon after Mr. Musk’s comments.
The stock fell more than 8% to close at US$37.39 ($53.44), down from the day before Mr Musk revealed his stake on Twitter in early April, prompting speculation. doubts that the billionaire entrepreneur would proceed with his acquisition of the company at the agreed price.
Earlier, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted that internal estimates of spam counts on the social media platform for the past four quarters were “well below 5%”, in response to criticism from Mr Musk on the company’s handling of fake accounts.
Twitter’s estimate, which has remained the same since 2013, could not be replicated externally given the need to use both public and private information to determine if an account is spam, it said. -he adds.
Mr. Musk responded to Mr. Agrawal’s defense of the company’s methodology with a poo emoji.
“So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? It’s fundamental to Twitter’s financial health,” Musk wrote.
Musk pledges to fight fake accounts
Musk has pledged to change Twitter’s content moderation practices, railing against decisions such as the company’s banning of former US President Donald Trump as too aggressive while pledging to crack down on spambots on the platform.
Musk called for tests on random samples of Twitter users to identify bots. He also said that “chances are it’s over 90% daily active users.”
Independent researchers have estimated that 9-15% of millions of Twitter profiles are bots.
Twitter does not currently require users to register using their real identities and expressly allows automated, parody and pseudonymous profiles on the service.
It prohibits impersonation and spam and penalizes accounts when the company determines their purpose is to “deceive or manipulate others” by engaging in scams, coordinating abuse campaigns, or artificially inflating commitment.
Mr. Musk’s comments at a private hearing could add to concerns about his disclosures of market-moving information.
The Tesla CEO, known for his candid posts on Twitter, has a long history of skirmishes with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Recently, Mr. Musk was criticized by a US judge for trying to evade a settlement with the SEC requiring monitoring of his Tesla tweets.
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