Twitter employees must really be dreaming of a quiet life… Elon Musk, the gadfly billionaire who recently decided he wanted to add a social media platform to his collection of tech firms, just tweeted it is his $43 billion bet the purchase of the company is “postponed pending details supporting calculations that spam/fake accounts do represent less than 5% of users.”
Given Musk’s penchant for trolling, it’s pretty hard to know if this is A) a serious problem or B) an actual delay in the deal because C) Musk chickened out; or so, D), an attempt to use the downward price trajectory of Twitter’s stock in recent days to try to renegotiate a lower price to buy it. (Or, E), more Musk’s shitposting – with god knows what legal consequences.)
We reached out to Twitter for a response to Musk’s tweet about the deal being put on hold, but the company has not commented at the time of this writing.
Musk has made his hatred of spambots particularly clear on Twitter, promising that he will make fighting spam a priority once he takes over the company.
So if spam/fake accounts really make up more than 5% of Twitter users, there is a risk that Musk is overpaying, which is especially serious if he really intends to “authenticate all people” to clean up all spam. Because this could mean that the size of the platform will shrink by 5% or more (if Twitter’s calculations are wrong).
Reuters the story Musk is referring to in his tweet is a May 2 report on a claim made by Twitter earlier this month that fake or spam accounts represented less than 5% of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter.
In the quarter, Twitter reported 229 million users who were shown ads.
Where will this chaotic saga go next? One can only guess. But whatever happens, it’s already extremely messy and damaging to Twitter – the company’s share price is further down in pre-market trading today. The Twitter board itself also continues to face questions over its decision to accept the proposal.
BUT a bunch of high-ranking employees were also fired before the expected change in direction predicted by Musk. And there There have also been reports of users leaving the platform over fears that Musk-led Twitter will open the floodgates to venomous hate speech. (For example, Musk said he would bring former US President Donald Trump back on the platform.)
Credit: techcrunch.com /