On May 13, Elon Musk said that his $44 billion cash deal for Twitter was “temporarily on hold” while he waits for the social media company to provide data on the proportion of its fake accounts.
In a tweet, the world’s richest man suggested he was waiting for more details on just how many accounts on Twitter might be false rather than humans.
Twitter did not immediately respond to the request for comment. Shares in the company fell initially by more than 20% in premarket trading. Earlier this week, the value of Twitter shares was comparatively below what Musk offered in April. But after his second tweet saying he remained committed to the deal, they regained some ground.
“To find out, my team will do a random sample of 100 followers” of the microblogging site, Musk tweeted, inviting others to repeat the process and “see what they discover.”
The company had recently estimated that false/spam accounts represented fewer than 5% of this monetizable daily active users during the first quarter of 2022.
This 5% metric has been out for some time. He clearly would have already seen it … So it may well be more part of the strategy to lower the price, said Susannah Streeter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Musk, who is also the Chief Executive of Tesla has said that one of his priorities would be to remove spam bots from the platform. Twitter has also said it faces several risks until the deal with Musk is closed including advertisers who continue to spend on Twitter.