Twitter hands Elon the keys

By Scoop
June 10, 2022 · less than 3 min read

Musk requests more info about spam bots and fake accounts; Twitter says, “Sure.”

Spam bot brain rot

Fake social media accounts and spam bots have been an issue for years. Nobody’s saying it’s an exclusively Twitter-based problem, but let’s face it – it’s pretty damn bad over there.

Bots are rumored to be used by just about everyone, from the Russian state to the FBI, but from a biz perspective, the biggest problem with fake accounts is that they skew user numbers and demographics, giving advertisers less accurate info. A bit of a problem when your business model is built around ad info.

Twitter acknowledges the issue of fake accounts, with CEO Parag Agrawal reiterating several times that bots make up about 5% of the Twitter population. But…Elon Musk has publicly argued that this figure is way, way too low. He thinks more than 20% of Twitter accounts could be fake. The disagreement has been a massive spanner in the works of a $44 billion acquisition that increasingly seems to be put on ice.

Data dump, anyone?

It’s been, what, a whole two or three days since our good old pal Elon was last in the headlines? That might be a record. But here we are again. The latest is that it looks like Twitter will arm Musk with a huge amount of raw tweet data, all in an effort to be as transparent as possible about those pesky fake accounts.

Musk entered into a legally binding agreement to buy Twitter in April, but he’s refusing to move forward. He claims he wants to know more about the fake accounts, and this reported data-sharing agreement would give him all the information he needed to review Twitter’s 5% claim.

If, as some suggest, Elon has been using the bot situation to cast doubt on the deal, he’s now in a bit of a checkmate. But if he simply wanted to confirm the accuracy of Agrawal’s figure? He’s in luck!

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