Musk Puts Twitter Over the Barrel on Fake Account Concerns

Elon Musk certainly has his fair hare of detractors these days, with complaints against him ranging from his odd obsession with cryptocurrencies to his incessant meme-ing online.

But perhaps the most salient complaint that Musk is facing these days comes from the liberal left, who fear that the Tesla CEO’s potential takeover of Twitter will bring conservative voices back to the platform after years of liberal censorship.

Now, with this $44 billion deal hanging in the balance, Musk has committed an artful business maneuver that puts Twitter between a rock and a hard place.

Elon Musk is threatening to walk away from his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter, accusing the company of refusing to give him information about its spam bot and fake accounts.

Lawyers for the Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the threat in a letter to Twitter dated Monday, and Twitter disclosed it in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The letter says Musk has repeatedly asked for the information since May 9, about a month after his offer to buy the company, so he could evaluate how many of the company’s 229 million accounts are fake.

The dueling estimates were wildly disproportionate.

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has said that Twitter has consistently estimated that fewer than 5% of its accounts are fake. But Musk has disputed that, contending in a May tweet that 20% or more are bogus.

Essentially, Twitter can now choose to sink the deal with any further obfuscation or they can reveal their overt negligence to the world at large.

In either case, the sticker price for the network is sure to be affected.


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