Elon Musk suggested on Monday that he could ask for a lower price for Twitter Inc., saying the company could have at least four times more fake accounts than it said.
“You can’t pay the same price for something worse than what they claim,” he told a conference in Miami.
Musk, who said on Friday that his $ 44 billion deal to buy Twitter was pending information on spam accounts, said he suspected they were at least 20% users – compared to Twitter’s official estimate of 5%.
When asked at the conference if the Twitter deal would work at a different price, Musk replied, “I mean, it’s not out of the question.”
“The more I ask questions, the more my anxiety increases,” he told the All-In-Summit 2022 conference.
“They claim that they have this complex mechanism that only they can understand … It cannot be some deep mystery that could be more complex than the human soul or something like that.”
Shares of Twitter traded up in the afternoon trading after Musk’s remarks.
The stock closed down more than 8% at $ 37.39, less than its level the day before Musk released its Twitter shares in early April, raising suspicions that the billionaire entrepreneur would go ahead with the acquisition of the company at its agreed price.
Twitter’s chief executive officer Parag Agarwal tweeted early Monday that internal estimates of spam accounts on social media platforms had been “below 5%” in the last four quarters, in response to days of criticism from Musk over the company’s handling of fake accounts.
Twitter estimates, which have remained the same since 2013, cannot be reproduced externally due to the need to use both public and private information to determine if an account is spam, he added.
Kasturi responds to Agarwal’s defense against the company’s approach with a pop emoji.
“So how do advertisers know what they’re getting paid for? It’s fundamental to Twitter’s financial health,” Musk wrote.
Musk has vowed to change Twitter’s content restraint practice, promising to crack down on “spam bots” on the platform, as well as protesting against decisions such as former President Donald Trump’s company ban. Read more
Twitter users have been asked to test random samples to detect mask bots. “There is a possibility that this could be more than 90% of the daily active users,” he added.
Independent researchers estimate that 9% to 15% of the millions of Twitter profiles are bots. Read more
Currently Twitter users do not need to register using their real identities and the service explicitly allows automated, parody and pseudonymous profiles.
It prohibits camouflage and spam, and fines accounts when the company determines that their purpose is to coordinate or artificially increase the proliferation of abusive propaganda by engaging in “cheating or manipulating others” scams.
Mask’s comments to a private audience could raise concerns about the release of dynamic information about his market.
Musk, known for his candid Twitter posts, has a long history of clashes with the US Securities and Exchange Commission; Recently, a U.S. judge reprimanded him for trying to evade a settlement with the SEC for monitoring his Tesla tweets.