Elon Musk still wants to buy Twitter, even for the original sale price of $44 billion, but he’d like to know precisely what he’d be getting.
The haggling point and the reason he pulled his offer in July centers solely around his attempt to determine how many Twitter users are bogus spam bots and how many are actual humans.
Musk believes Twitter is being misleading at best and flat-out lying at worst, which would constitute fraud and a breach of contract.
Andrea Stroppa is a cybersecurity expert who works in data analysis. She is one of 118 people in the world that Musk follows on Twitter, so she’s very intelligent. She sent a series of tweets that said the following:
“2/ When @elonmusk requested more information about spam and fake accounts; Twitter provided a vague response. Then provided outdated data; Then offered a fake data set (not real “firehose”);
Then provided a cleaned data set where they already suspended the malicious accounts;”
Musk responded to her tweet with this:
“Good summary of the problem.
If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms.
However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”
Musk then went into full Elon mode and challenged the CEO of Twitter to a “public debate about the Twitter bot percentage.” Whether you like Musk or not, a debate between him and Parag Agrawal would be akin to Conor McGregor challenging the 14th Dalai Lama to a smack-talking contest. No contest.
Twitter has repeatedly told the SEC that an estimated 5% or less of user accounts are fake or spam. Musk thinks that’s a joke.
The trial is set for October in Delaware. Agrawal is too submissive and shy to respond to the public debate challenge.