What just happened? It looks like Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter could be in jeopardy. The world’s richest man has just announced that the deal is “temporarily on hold” until he receives confirmation that spam and fake accounts on the site do indeed make up less than 5% of his user base.
Musk posted this announcement this morning along with a link to Reuters. report dated May 2. The article revealed that the statistics were in the company’s filings with financial regulators. Twitter said fake or spam accounts accounted for less than 5% of its monetized daily active users during the first quarter.
Still looking to acquire
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
Musk has never said exactly how he plans to back up Twitter’s findings or why he doubts them. This may be related to the recent revelations that Twitter inflated the number of monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) between 2019 and 2021, which was allegedly done “in error”.
Musk followed the announcement with a tweet confirming he remains committed to the acquisition, but that didn’t stop Twitter’s stock from falling about 15% on the news, while Tesla’s stock rose 6%.
If Musk does back out of the deal, he will still have to pay a $1 billion break fee. Bill Gates would probably be happy; former Microsoft boss believes in Musk’s beliefs about free speech can make Twitter worse.
Musk revealed some of his plans for Twitter last month. These include lesser moderation — he said he would lift Donald Trump’s ban on the site — and open source code for his algorithm. But one of its top priorities is to eliminate the spam, spambots, and bot armies that plague the platform.
Earlier this week Musk threatened Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos space agency, for the supply of Starlink satellites to Ukraine. “If I die under mysterious circumstances, it would be nice to know about you,” the Tesla CEO joked.
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