Elon Musk invites Twitter CEO to a public debate on fake accounts and spam bots

Tesla and Spacex CEO Elon Musk has challenged Twitter’s CEO to a public debate about the platform’s fake accounts and spam bots. A recent poll conducted by Musk showed that nearly 65 percent of respondents don’t believe that less than 5 percent of daily Twitter users are fake or spam accounts.

Musk challenges Twitter CEO to public debate

Tesla CEO Elon Musk challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a public debate about fake accounts and spam on Twitter. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter has less than 5% of daily users of fake or spam accounts“, Musk wrote on Saturday.

The percentage of spam and fake accounts on Twitter prompted Tesla’s CEO to end his $44 billion takeover bid. Twitter sued Musk to force him to go through with the buyout. The Spacex boss then filed a lawsuit accusing Twitter of fraud.

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Musk’s poll on fake users and spam on Twitter

Elon Musk put up a 24-hour Twitter poll on Saturday asking his 103 million followers if they think less than 5% of daily Twitter users are fake or spam. A total of 822,766 votes were tallied: 64.9 percent chose “no.”

While Twitter claims that less than 5% of its daily users are fake or spam accounts, Musk disagrees and tried to get data from the social networking giant to conduct his own analysis, without success.

Elon Musk explained, “All indications suggest that many of Twitter’s public disclosures about its mDAUs are either false or materially misleading… The proportion of fake and spam accounts included in the reported mDAU account is well over 5%.

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Twitter defines mDAUs (monetizable daily active users) as “users who logged in and accessed Twitter on a given day through Twitter.com or ad-enabled Twitter applications“. Twitter’s disclosures include those filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“Materially false” SEC filings

Elon Musk claims that Twitter provided him with outdated data, offered a fake data set, and then provided a clean data set where they already suspended the malicious accounts.

The Tesla CEO tweeted on Saturday:

If Twitter simply provides its method of sampling 100 accounts and how they are confirmed to be real, the deal should continue on the original terms. However, if the SEC filings are found to be materially false, the deal should not proceed.

Musk detailed in his counterclaim that three days after signing the purchase agreement, Twitter “reaffirmed and publicly disclosed that the mDAU numbers in the 2021 10-K were false and that Twitter had overcounted the mDAU by up to 1.9 million in each quarter.

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