Elon Musk demands proof of bot numbers before Twitter sale
Elon Musk has stated that his purchase of Twitter cannot go ahead until the company provides proof of its claimed bot numbers.
The controversial Tesla boss has claimed that bots could represent more than 20 percent of Twitter’s users, which would be more than four times the company’s estimate of less than 5 percent if true.
Musk is claiming that his $44 billion offer for Twitter was based on the company’s estimate, which is why he’s taking the position that “This deal cannot move forward” until current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal provides the necessary proof.
The two executives have been going back and forth this week over the subject, with Agrawal claiming that external estimates cannot be done given the security of its users’ data. Musk claimed on Monday that he could seek a revised price over this perceived abundance of fake Twitter accounts.
One of Musk’s stated big goals for taking over Twitter is “defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans”.
This is just the latest in a series of twists following the news in early April that Musk had become the largest Twitter shareholder (and immediately pushed for an edit button). After much back and forth over Musk potentially joining the Twitter board, he officially reached a deal to buy the social network for $44 billion in late April.
With the matter of bot numbers rearing its head after that deal was struck, it seems Musk is attempting to negotiate a lower price after the fact.