Musk, Twitter CEO spar over bot accounts
Elon Musk on Monday publicly challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal’s explanation of how the platform measures bot or spam accounts.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO announced last week he was putting his $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter “on hold” over concerns about the platform’s estimate that less than 5 percent of its daily active users are fake accounts.
Musk has signed a binding agreement to acquire all outstanding shares, making the threat of suspending the deal far from concrete, but his public criticism of the company sent share prices tanking.
Agrawal on Monday tried to calm the concerns behind that drop, explaining in a lengthy thread how Twitter goes about identifying bots and spam accounts.
“Our actual internal estimates for the last four quarters were all well under 5 percent,” Agrawal wrote.
The CEO noted that monitoring fake activity is challenging because many real accounts may look like bots or spam.
Musk responded with a single emoji before explaining why the estimate of spam bots matters to him.
“So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter,” Musk wrote.
Agrawal noted in a follow up tweet that Twitter had shared more details about its estimation process with Musk last week.
“We… look forward to continuing the conversation with him, and all of you,” the Twitter CEO wrote.
In the weeks since Musk and Twitter agreed on a deal for the billionaire to acquire the platform, Musk had publicly criticized multiple staffers at the company. Monday appeared to be the first time Musk directly addressed Agrawal.
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