Just two weeks ago, Elon Musk secured a deal to acquire Twitter for $44 billion. Now, following Twitter's most recent quarterly earnings report, the deal has been put ‘temporarily on hold' in order to investigate the true number of spam and fake accounts on the platform.
After the deal announcement, Musk did say that spam, bot and fake accounts were a big issue that he would be looking to tackle upon taking over Twitter. As part of Twitter's new earnings report, the company estimates that spam accounts represented “less than 5%” of its monthly active users in the last quarter. However, the company also notes that “our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated”.
This led to Musk tweeting out: “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users”. Since then, Twitter stock has dropped by almost 20 percent.
Twitter has inaccurately reported users before. As The Verge points out, recently Twitter admitted that it miscounted its active users for a three-year time period, overcounting users by as much as 1.9 million each quarter. With that in mind, there is good reason to doubt the 5% figure.
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KitGuru Says: The deal is only temporarily on hold, so for now, it seems that plans will go ahead, unless investigations uncover something drastic.