Elon Musk considers pulling offer for Twitter due to alleged bot population

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Twitter has refused to explain how they calculate the number of inauthentic or “bot” accounts on their platform, a situation that Musk calls “very suspicious.”

According to a report by Fox News, Musk is considering lowering his purchase offer, based on estimates of what the actual user count for the company might be.

Musk, who made a very public bid to buy Twitter, has expressed skepticism about their unwillness to address the actual number of bot accounts on the platform, saying, “I’m worried that Twitter has a disincentive to reduce spam, as it reduces perceived daily users.”

“They still refuse to explain how they calculate that 5% of daily users are fake/spam! Very suspicious,” he added in a separate tweet.

Musk said last week that the lack of transparency on the number of spam accounts is a condition of his $44 billion purchase offer for Twitter, due partially to the fact that his estimation that about one in five accounts are actually fake.

The billionaire tweeted, “20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher. My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.”

His assertion about the bot population has been harshly dismissed by the current leadership of Twitter, who officially estimate that the inauthentic population is around 5%.

Musk said Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal publicly refused to provide proof that the company’s claims were correct and that less than 5% of users are bots, which led Musk to say the deal “cannot move forward until he does.”

Should the Tesla CEO back out of the deal, he would be required to pay a $1 billion termination fee to Twitter and would be potentially subject to additional litigation fees, according to Teslarati.

In 2022, the first quarter reports showed that Twitter’s monetizable daily active user base grew 15.9% year-over-year to 229 million, which included 39.6 million daily active users in the U.S., and 189.4 million international daily active users.

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