Elon Musk Reacts to Analysis on Twitter Takeover Hurdle—'Interesting'

The world's richest man Elon Musk has responded to the news that an audit concluded that almost 50 percent of President Joe Biden's followers are spam or bots.

Managing Partner for The Future Fund and investment adviser Gary Black, shared a Newsweek article on the audit's findings and tagged Musk.

Musk responded by writing "interesting" and followed up by tweeting: "So... [checks calculator]... that would be like 10 times more than 5 percent."

This comes after Musk put his $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter "temporarily on hold" last week over an issue regarding the amount of fake accounts on the social media platform.

"Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users," Musk tweeted on Friday.

On Friday, following this announcement, shares in the social media giant fell 17.7 percent to $37.10 in pre-market trading, their lowest level since Musk disclosed his stake in the company and made his offer to take it private for $54.20 per share.

With his tweet, the businessman posted a link to a Reuters story from May 2 showing Twitter making that estimate about spam accounts, citing a company filing.

In the quarterly filing, released on April 28, Twitter warned that in making the determination, the company's estimation of false accounts may not accurately represent the real number, which may be higher.

"We are continually seeking to improve our ability to estimate the total number of spam accounts and eliminate them from the calculation of our mDAU [Number of monetizable daily active Twitter users], and have made improvements in our spam detection capabilities that have resulted in the suspension of a large number of spam, malicious automation, and fake accounts," the filing added.

On Tuesday Musk reiterated that he could no go forward with the acquisition until the issues of spam and fake accounts was resolved.

"My offer was based on Twitter's SEC filings being accurate, Musk wrote.

"Yesterday, Twitter's CEO [Parag Agrawal] publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does."

It is not clear how Musk arrived at the 20 percent figure. He and Agrawal also exchanged a series of tweets about the issue of fake accounts on Monday.

Agrawal has defended Twitter and insisted it has been dedicated to removing bots and spam accounts daily.

"We suspend over half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you even see them on Twitter. We also lock millions of accounts each week that we suspect may be spam, if they can't pass human verification challenges (captchas, phone verification, etc)," Agrawal tweeted.

The Twitter CEO also said the company has estimated "every quarter" that less than five percent of monetizable daily active users (mDAU) were spam accounts.

Musk initially responded to Agrawal's 13-tweet thread with a poop emoji and later wrote: "So how do advertisers know what they're getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter."

Newsweek has contacted Elon Musk for comment.

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Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. Elon Musk reacted to analysis on the Twitter takeover hurdle, Dimirios Kambouris/Getty Images