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Elon Musk Suggests Deal With Twitter Cannot Move Forward Without Proof From CEO on Bot Numbers

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested his deal with Twitter cannot move forward the way it is.

Musk responded to a tweet from the account Teslarati, saying, “Elon Musk may be looking for a better Twitter deal as $44 billion seems too high with 20% of users being fake or spam accounts.”

He explained, “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.”

Musk added, “Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”

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Teslarati reported Musk “said he believes 20 percent of Twitter accounts are fake or spam, a number that needs to be significantly reduced and could be the reasoning behind his thirst for a renegotiation of terms.”

The outlet continued, “Perhaps Twitter is not as valuable with fewer users, of course, and Musk may feel that the already-large asking price of $54.20 per share is simply too high to justify when one-in-five users are not actually humans.”

Additionally, Teslarati noted if Musk backs out of the deal, “he will be required to pay Twitter a $1 billion termination fee and could be subjected to additional litigation due to damages.”

Musk’s comments come just days after he announced the deal was on hold, as IJR reported.

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted.

He added, “Still committed to acquisition.”

On Monday, Musk reacted to a thread posted by Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal about conducting an external review of spam and other fake accounts on the platform.

“Unfortunately, we don’t believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share). Externally, it’s not even possible to know which accounts are counted as mDAUs on any given day,” Agrawal wrote.

He added, “There are LOTS of details that are very important underneath this high-level description. We shared an overview of the estimation process with Elon a week ago and look forward to continuing the conversation with him, and all of you.”

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Musk then responded with a poop emoji.

He asked, “So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter.”

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