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Judge Orders Twitter to Give Elon Musk Key Info on Fake Accounts That May Change Everything

The world’s richest person is finally getting what he wants.



Elon Musk Twitter

A judge has handed Elon Musk a significant victory in his legal battle with Twitter.

The company is now required to give Musk key information about the number of fake accounts and bots on the platform, according to a Monday (August 15) court order from Judge Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Twitter must collect, review and produce documents to give Musk from Kayvon Beykpour, who formerly served as head of consumer product at Twitter.

At the same time, however, McCormick decided that the 21 other people from whom such information was requested do not need to comply.

In May, Twitter’s current CEO, Parag Agrawal, made the decision to terminate Beykpour’s employment.

According to Reuters, Beykpour was singled out by Musk’s legal team as “a key figure in calculating the amount of fake accounts on the platform.”

“We look forward to reviewing Beykpour’s communications and will continue to seek information and witnesses until the full truth comes out,” said Alex Spiro, a lawyer for Musk.

In the context of Musk’s proposed acquisition of the social media site, the problem of fake accounts has surfaced as a major source of contention.

According to Twitter’s estimations, approximately 5% of its accounts are bots. Musk has claimed that the percentage is closer to 20%.

Musk, the world’s richest person, said he came to the conclusion that he would not move forward with the $44 billion purchase because he was unable to verify the number of fake accounts. Twitter subsequently filed a lawsuit against Musk in an attempt to still force him to purchase the company.

The chief executive officer of an Israeli technology business called Cyabra, Dan Brahmy, is in agreement with Musk that Twitter has underestimated the amount of fake accounts on its platform.

“They have underestimated that number,” Brahmy told Reuters, estimating the amount of fake accounts to be roughly 13.7%.

Musk argued in a countersuit he filed that “misrepresentations or omissions” of information by the company has resulted in an inflated valuation of Twitter.

According to the countersuit, Twitter does not have 238 million monetizable daily active users as it claims it does; rather, it has 65 million fewer of these users.

Only a monetizable daily active user can be shown advertisements.

Musk’s countersuit alleges that Twitter engaged in a “scheme to mislead investors about the company’s prospects,” by undercounting the number of bots on its platform.

Attorneys for Musk and Twitter will now appear in court for a five-day trial from October 17 to October 21 to debate whether the agreement to purchase the company must still be realized. They did not respond to requests for comment.

Twitter still carries on as though the deal has been upheld.

The company’s stock closed at $44.01 per share on Wednesday (August 17).

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