Elon Musk’s battle against the Twitter bots doesn’t appear to be mitigating anytime soon.
The billionaire, who put a bid on Twitter for an estimated $44 billion, said last week that his deal could not “move forward” unless Twitter ran an honest audit on what percentage of Twitter accounts are bots and spam account.
Per an Q1 2022 earnings report, Twitter estimated that less than 5% of all users were bots and spam accounts, a number that Musk has questioned though he has not received a response or explanation as to how the number was calculated from Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal.
Now, the billionaire is doubling down and suggesting that his bid price be brought down by a percentage directly proportional to the actual percentage of bots and spam accounts using the Twitter platform.
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Musk responded in a thread between himself and several other users where he called the social media platform’s behavior “suspicious” and came up with a proposed solution to how much he should lower his bid to buy the company by.
“I’m worried that Twitter has a disincentive to reduce spam, as it reduces perceived daily users,” Musk said. “[Twitter] still refuse[s] to explain how they calculate that 5% of daily users are fake/spam! Very suspicious.”
A user then suggested that if 25% of all Twitter users were found to be bots, then Musk’s pricing on his acquisition should cost 25% less than he originally bid for, to which Musk responded “absolutely.”
He has been vocal the past week about Agrawal and the Twitter team’s silence regarding the issue, as well as having made it be known that the issue of bots and spam accounts is something he takes extremely seriously when it comes to taking over the company.
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“I’ve also vowed this publicly that we have to get rid of the bots and trolls and the scams and everything, because that’s obviously diminishing the user experience, and we don’t want people getting tricked out of their money and that kind of thing,” Musk said during a red carpet interview at the Met Gala earlier this month. “I’m definitely on the warpath, so if somebody’s operating a bot or troll on me then I’m definitely their enemy.”
Prior to Musk’s latest battle with the company, his acquisition was expected to be finalized by the end of 2022, but now it is unclear whether or not that will happen.
Twitter was down 33.65% year over year at market close on Monday.