Elon Musk halts $44 billion Twitter deal due fake accounts report, but says he's 'committed to acquisition'
'Twitter deal temporarily on hold' says Musk in a tweet today
Update: Elon Musk has just followed up his tweet to say he’s “still committed to [the Twitter] acquisition.”
Elon Musk is pausing his Twitter deal that would have taken the company private in a landmark $44 billion acquisition (see prior Elon Musk news) with the intent to purge the social media platform of SPAM bots and reduce censorship. The problem? The same SPAM bots and fake accounts he was highlighting may have won – temporarily.
"Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” tweeted Musk, referring to a May 2 Reuters report.
Musk did follow up this tweet to say that he’s “still committed to acquisition.”
The fake Twitter account problem is real, but…
Twitter… has a problem. SPAM accounts, fake accounts and hacked accounts make up a small portion of my follower count. But at 1,062,519 Twitter followers to date, that’s at least 53,125 fake accounts if the 5% math holds up.
I block and report them every day, but fake accounts and hacked accounts (often of celebrities or media figures with verified blue checkmarks), try to scam my users with bogus PS5 restock offers. I warn against it every day and it’s even in my Twitter bio.
I know I’m not alone in being targeted by an army of SPAM bots and fake accounts, and Twitter has acknowledged that it’s an advertising risk in its latest financial guidance reports. Among the 90 million Elon Musk Twitter followers are a healthy number of automated SPAM accounts that reply to his every tweet. This is what happens to me every time I tweet – on a slightly smaller scale.
But… you’d also have to think that Musk would have seen this report about there being less than 5% bogus Twitter accounts and would have known about this prior to his bid to take Twitter private at $54.20 per share. At that same 5% threshold, Musk would have 45 million fake accounts following him. So the question is: why is Elon Musk temporarily halting this deal. Is it to get a better rate?
However it turns out, that work on the Twitter edit button pre-dates Elon Musk raising funds to buy the social media platform, so we’ll still get this feature in 2022.