Elon Musk Says $44B Twitter Deal on Hold Over Bots & Fake Accounts

Elon Musk Twitter deal on hold

Photo Credit: Luke Chesser

Elon Musk says his deal to takeover Twitter is ‘on hold’ following a report on bots and fake accounts.

Musk has said that ridding what he calls the ‘open forum’ of fake accounts and bots would be a priority for him. But in an early morning tweet, the billionaire announced the deal is on hold pending an investigation into those numbers. What’s interesting about the deal is that it includes a golden parachute for Elon – a $1 billion breakup fee if he steps away from the deal.

A person with knowledge of the matter told The New York Times that Twitter and Mr. Musk have been working together to close the deal.

Twitter says that fake or spam accounts make up less than 5% of the 226 million monetizable daily active users. Musk linked a report from Reuters that cites information from a Twitter regulatory filing.

“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 filing states. “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,” that regulatory file continues to disclose.

Just a few weeks ago, Twitter disclosed that it had overcounted its daily users for three years straight. Twitter blamed the issue on a technical error that counted multiple accounts as active, despite being connected to one single user. Twitter says the inflated user number may have been as much as 1.9 million each quarter.