After reports of Twitter having less than 5% of spam and fake accounts, Elon Musk has declared his plans for a Twitter takeover on hold only weeks after agreeing to take the company private for roughly £34.5 billion.
This comes as a surprise to many, as the outspoken Tesla CEO is no stranger to controversy on the social media platform. Still, he did seem very determined to become the platform’s owner.
In a tweet posted today, Musk said: “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”
Elon tanked the price of Twitter’s shares with the questionable tweet, sending it down more than 25% in premarket trading.
In his tweet, Musk linked a report about Twitter’s most recent disclosure about its spam and fake account issues.
On April 28, Twitter released its quarterly financial report, estimating that fake/spam accounts made up fewer than 5% of the platform’s 226 million monetizable daily active users during the first quarter of 2022.
However, the company pointed out that the estimates were based on a review of sample accounts, and it believed the numbers to be “reasonable”, but the measurements were not independently verified, and the actual number of fake accounts could be higher.
Spam problems aren’t new to Twitter, as the company has dealt with bots and fake accounts for years.
In 2018, the social media platform said it removed tens of millions of fake accounts.
Twitter has also been criticised for not doing enough to stop the spread of misinformation on the platform.
The richest man alive has a strong stance for free speech and just recently announced that he will be giving former US President Donald Trump his account back, but pointing out that he still doesn’t own the company and can’t do it yet. Musk also noted that Donald Trump said he wouldn’t be returning to Twitter even if his account was reinstated.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives shared his thoughts on the whole Twitter takeover being on hold. He stated that Wall Street would “view this deal as 1) likely falling apart, 2) Musk negotiating for a lower deal price, or 3) Musk simply walking away from the deal with a $1bn break-up fee”.
Ives also assumed that if Musk is to stay firm on his decision to buy Twitter, negotiations are sure to happen and also pointed out that the billionaire might be using the spam account numbers as a way to get out of the deal.
Another news regarding Twitter is that two executives announced that they’d be leaving the company.
Twitter executives Kayvon Beykpour, who led Twitter’s customer division, and Bruce Falck, who was in charge of overseeing revenue, both tweeted on Thursday that the departures were not their decisions.
This week, the company also shared that it had paused most hiring, except for “business critical roles”.
We’ll continue watching how this “drama” unfolds and keep you updated.