Elon Musk said on Tuesday that Twitter should share proof that spam bots or fake accounts is less than 5 percent of its total users in order to move ahead with his $44 billion offer.
“My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5 percent (spam accounts). This deal cannot move forward until he does,” Elon Musk said in a tweet.
Elon Musk last week decided to put his offer on hold pending information on spam accounts. Musk said he suspected they make up at least 20 percent of users – compared with Twitter’s official estimates of 5 percent.
“You can’t pay the same price for something that is much worse than they claimed,” Elon Musk said at the All-In Summit 2022 conference in Miami on Monday.
The stock had on Monday dropped more than 8 percent to close at $37.39, lower than its level the day before Musk revealed his Twitter stake in early April, sowing doubts that the billionaire entrepreneur would proceed with his acquisition at the agreed price.
Twitter Chief Executive Parag Agrawal tweeted on Monday that internal estimates of spam accounts on the social media platform for the last four quarters were well under 5 percent, responding to days of criticism by Musk of the company’s handling of phony accounts.
Researchers have estimated that 9 percent to 15 percent of the millions of Twitter profiles are bots. Spam bots or fake accounts are designed to manipulate or artificially boost activity on social media platforms such as Twitter.
Twitter does not currently require users to register using their real identities and expressly permits automated, parody and pseudonymous profiles.