Elon Musk is starting to sound a little bit skeptical about his US$44 billion deal to buy Twitter, mostly because of the platform’s problem with spam bot accounts.
Twitter’s CEO Parag Agrawal pushed back on Twitter, saying that some of Elon’s ideas about tracking and removing bot accounts wouldn’t work. To that, Elon had the classiest of responses – the poop emoji.
On top of that, Musk got into a disagreement with Twitter’s former CEO about how the algorithm is manipulating users. According to a source in touch with The New York Times, Musk commented at a tech conference in Miami that making a deal for Twitter at a lower price is “not out of the question.”
So the question remains: is Musk still planning on buying Twitter, maybe for less than his initial bid – or is he looking for a way out?
“Our actual internal estimates for the last four quarters were all well under 5% – based on the methodology outlined above,” wrote Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal in a thread, referring to the percentage of accounts that are spam or bot accounts. “Unfortunately, we don’t believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share).”
“So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter,” tweeted Musk.