Twitter Deal “Cannot Move Forward” Without Spam Data, Musk Says


Key Takeaways

  • Elon Musk has said his Twitter buyout deal “cannot move forward” until the social media firm provides proof that fewer than 5% of user accounts are fake.
  • It comes after Musk publicly called out the firm’s CEO Parag Agrawal over its approach to gathering data on spam.
  • Crypto fans have been waiting to see how Musk will change the social media app since he agreed to buy the company last month, but recent developments suggest the deal may not go through.

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Musk may not be buying the social media giant after all. 

Musk Halts Twitter Buyout Over Spam Accounts 

Elon Musk is putting his Twitter deal on hold pending details on fake accounts on the platform. 

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The Tesla and SpaceX CEO clarified in an early Tuesday tweet that he is not ready to proceed with the landmark $44 billion deal until Twitter shares official data on the number of spam accounts on the app. “20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher. My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate,” Musk wrote in response to a tweet suggesting that 20% of Twitter accounts are fake. “Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”

It comes after Musk had another tweet-based run-in with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal Tuesday, in which he called out the firm’s executive over its handling of spam data. “So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter,” he wrote in response to Agrawal’s thread. 

Musk has made it clear from the outset of his widely-publicized buyout deal that he wants to rid the platform of spam and fake accounts. On May 13, he revealed that the arrangement was “temporarily on hold” pending details from Twitter over its spam accounts. However, Twitter has not yet provided any clear figures beyond an estimate that “well under 5%” of accounts are fake. 

Musk struck his deal with Twitter last month, agreeing to buy a 100% stake in the company for a premium of $54.20 per share. Since then, the cryptocurrency community has pondered over how Musk may use crypto as part of his plan to transform the app. Musk, who’s previously revealed that he holds Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin and last year added $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin to Tesla’s balance sheet, hasn’t shared full details on his plans for the social media giant, barring a commitment to eradicating bots and enabling free speech—including reinstating Donald Trump’s account. However, he has also hinted that Dogecoin could be used for Twitter’s subscription service. Even without the Musk deal sealed, Twitter has been taking steps to embrace crypto technology in recent months. It already supports Bitcoin and Ethereum payments and is currently trialing Stripe’s new stablecoin payment service, while NFT holders can show off their tokenized JPEG’s with the app’s authentication feature. 

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Twitter shares slid again today on pre-market trading, down to $36.68 at press time. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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