Elon Musk has said that his deal to purchase Twitter is “temporarily on hold” after the social network announced that the percentage of its 226 million monetizable daily active users who were fake or spam accounts was less than 5 percent.
The CEO of Tesla, who had previously made an offer to purchase Twitter for $44 billion, tweeted a link to a Reuters piece on Twitter’s filing on May 2, stating that he wanted to examine the company’s calculations and asking for them to be made public.
“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted. In a follow-up tweet, he added that he’s “still committed to [the] acquisition.”
The revelation of the hold caused Twitter’s share price to drop by as much as 20 percent, while Tesla’s share price has increased by 6 percent as of the time this article was written.
The pertinent portion of Twitter’s filing may be seen down below.
“We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5% of our mDAU during the quarter. The false or spam accounts for a period represents the average of false or spam accounts in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter. In making this determination, we applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated.”
Along with placing an emphasis on free speech and open-sourcing the ranking algorithms used by the site, Musk has highlighted reducing the number of “spam and scam bots” and “bot armies” on Twitter a central tenet of his argument for how the service can be improved. And with the potential for Twitter’s user base to have much more bots than anticipated, it makes sense to dig further before paying full price for Twitter. It may not actually be worth 44 billion.
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