Elon Musk Is Ready To Walk Away From His Twitter Deal Because Of The Alleged Spambot Issue
Elon Musk seems to be having some major buyer’s remorse over his recent announcement that he’s buying Twitter for $44 billion, and he has made it known that he is ready to back out of that deal in an instant, if Twitter is unable to provide Elon with the information he needs before he forks over all those billions. And what does Elon want? Exact numbers on just how many fake accounts a future Twitter owner might find on such a social media platform. Twitter has explicitly stated that they’re 100% committed to the sale, by any means necessary, like by bringing in a team of lawyers and enforcing a merger agreement. But Elon doesn’t care about that right now. All he wants is the details on those fake accounts.
Twitter has tried to crack down on fake accounts, but their efforts are not satisfactory to Elon, who claims that the spambots are the sole reason why he would want to back out of this Twitter deal. Yes, that’s it, the only reason. Definitely nothing to do with the kind of shady stock shenanigans that would have the US Securities Commission suddenly getting very interested. Or the kind of allegations that would maybe cause a potential buyer to bail on a background check. Nope, the only issue here is the fake users. Elon had his lawyers send a letter to Twitter this morning, in which he allegedly threatened to back out of the deal, because Elon believes Twitter is acting cagey about the spambots. via The Hollywood Reporter:
An attorney for Elon Musk wrote that the company “is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights” in regards to a dispute over spam accounts, and threatened to terminate the deal.
The letter follows a weeks-long back and forth between Musk and the company regarding how many active users of the service are real people, as opposed to bots or spam accounts. Musk, who declined due diligence early in the process, has since requested further data from the company, and also tweeted that the deal was “on hold,” although behind the scenes work appears to have continued since then.
According to the internet, Twitter has about 330 million monthly active users. And what Elon wants to know is exactly how many of those monthly active users can’t be found in real life. Twitter has previously reported that they believe less than 5% of users are fake accounts. Twitter allegedly sent Elon a detailed report on June 1st regarding the possible number of fake accounts, which most likely echos their previous claim of there being less than 5%. A number that is far less than the estimated number of possible fake bots that follow Elon Musk on Twitter (according to Business Insider, that would be 23% of Elon’s 96.8 million followers). THR says that Elon has refused to accept Twitter’s most recent analysis of spambots, and he’s decided to do his own research into the situation, with the help of all of Twitter’s data, of course. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he’s out. via THR:
“This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” it reads.
THR notes that Elon’s threat could also be a bargaining tool that he can use to re-negotiate a lower price on the sale. Also, Elon and Twitter have signed a contract, and unless Twitter is in breach of said contract, Elon’s threats might be useless. Twitter released a statement to THR about this, and they say that they’re going to continue to share data with Elon Musk, and that they intend to close the deal to the original terms outlined back in April.
I guess the biggest question here isn’t how many fake bots are floating around Twitter, but why is Elon so hung up on them! Never has a person cared so much about a spam account in the history of social media. Maybe Elon just wants to make sure that everyone on Twitter is a human. After all, the man loves humanity.
Some hate humanity, but I love humanity so much
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 5, 2022
“I love humanity so much, I’m obsessed with knowing for certain that actual humans are liking my tweets. How many of them are humans? PLEASE SAY ALL OF THEM.”