Elon Musk Challenges Twitter CEO to ‘Public Debate’ on Bot Data
- Elon Musk issued a “challenge” to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on Saturday.
- The billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has called for a public debate about how Twitter reports its spam bots and fake accounts.
- Musk has repeatedly accused Twitter of having far more bots than it reports, citing this as a reason he no longer wants to buy the company.
Elon Musk is once again challenging Twitter over the data it reports on spam bots and fake accounts, and this time he wants a public debate to settle the matter.
Responding to a tweet thread by cybersecurity researcher Andrea Stroppa summarizing Musk’s counterattack against Twitter, the Tesla CEO, and SpaceX He wrote on Saturday that it would go ahead with its proposed $44 billion acquisition of Twitter if the social platform disclosed how it tracks bots.
“If Twitter simply provides the method of sampling 100 accounts and how they are verified to be real, the deal should go forward on the original terms. However, if it turns out that the SEC filings are essentially false, then it shouldn’t.” , Musk wrote.
In a subsequent tweet, himself added: “I challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot rate. Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spammy daily users!" He also created one votingasking for yes or no responses to the prompt “Less than 5% of daily Twitter users are fake/spam.”
Information about the number of Twitter users who are actually bots and fake accounts has been critical in Musk’s legal battle with the company.
When Musk said he wanted out of his deal to buy Twitter, a key reason he cited was his belief that Twitter has far more bots and fake accounts than it’s letting on. He also accused Twitter of withholding information about the bot from him, which the company denied.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said he believes at least 20% of daily active Twitter users are fake or spam accounts. While Twitter claims the figure is actually less than 5%, Musk said he hasn’t seen evidence to support that number and won’t move forward with the deal until he does.
In his recent counterclaim against the company, Musk accused Twitter of intentionally “miscounting” the number of spam accounts on its platform as part of what he called “a scheme to mislead investors about the company’s prospects.”