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Musk: Doubt about spam accounts could scuttle Twitter deal

Elon Musk
Posted at 6:08 AM, May 17, 2022

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his deal to buy Twitter can’t move forward unless the company shows public proof that less than 5% of the accounts on the platform are fake or spam.

Musk made the comment in a reply to another user on Twitter early Tuesday. He spent much of the previous day in a back-and-forth with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal.

Agrawal posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s effort to fight bots and how it has consistently estimated that less than 5% of Twitter accounts are fake.

Last week, he said he intended on still buying Twitter, but needs proof of the number of fake accounts is below 5% of all users.

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

Musk announced last month he would purchase Twitter, turning the company from a publicly owned business to one controlled by Musk.

Musk has suggested he would loosen Twitter’s code of conduct, which has booted a number of users off the platform for spreading violent messages or misinformation.

Earlier this month, Musk told the Financial Times that he would reinstate President Donald Trump’s Twitter account if he takes over. Trump’s Twitter account was removed following the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection as Twitter said Trump’s tweets about the 2020 election violated the company’s code of conduct.