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Elon Musk hints he may try to slash Twitter’s price by $44 billion, citing more fake accounts as he responds with poop emoji to CEO

Elon Musk has suggested he could aim for a lower price for Twitter, saying there could be at least four times more fake accounts than the company has admitted.

They can’t pay the same price for something that’s a lot worse than they said it was,” he said at a conference in Miami.

Musk, who said Friday his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter was on hold pending information on spam accounts, said he suspects they make up at least 20 percent of users — compared to Twitters official estimates of 5 percent.

When asked at the conference if the Twitter deal was viable at a different price, Musk replied, “I mean, it’s not out of the question.”

“The more questions I ask, the more concerned I become,” he said at the All-In Summit 2022 conference.

“They claim they have this complex methodology that only they can understand… It can’t be a deep mystery more complex than the human soul or something.”

Twitter reports the ongoing losses in late afternoon trading following Musk’s comments.

The stock fell more than 8 percent to $37.39, down from the day before Musk announced his Twitter holding in early April, raising doubts that the billionaire entrepreneur would go ahead with acquiring the company at the agreed price would continue.

Twitter chief executive officer Parag Agrawal tweeted earlier Monday that internal estimates of spam accounts on the social media platform were “well below 5 percent” for the past four quarters, responding to days of criticism from Musk on the company’s handling of fake accounts.

Twitter’s estimate, which has remained the same since 2013, cannot be reproduced externally because both public and private information would need to be used to determine whether an account is spam, he added.

Musk responded to Agrawal’s defense of the company’s methodology with a poop emoji.

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“So how do advertisers know what they are getting for their money? This is fundamental to Twitter’s financial health,” Musk wrote.

Musk has pledged changes to Twitter’s content moderation practices and has lashed out at decisions like the company’s ban on former President Donald Trump for being overly aggressive, while pledging to crack down on “spam bots” on the platform.

Musk has called for testing samples of Twitter users to identify bots. He also said, “There’s a decent chance it’s over 90% of daily active users.”

Independent researchers have estimated that between 9% and 15% of Twitter’s millions of profiles are bots.

Twitter currently does not require users to register with their real identity and expressly allows automated, parodic and pseudonymous profiles on the service.

It bans impersonation and spam, and penalizes accounts if the company determines their purpose is to “deceive or manipulate others” by engaging in fraud, coordinating abuse campaigns, or artificially inflating engagement.

Musk’s comments to a private audience could increase concerns about his disclosure of market-moving information.

Musk, known for his candid Twitter posts, has a long history of skirmishes with the US Securities and Exchange Commission; A US judge recently blasted him for trying to avoid a settlement with the SEC demanding oversight of his Tesla tweets. (Reporting by Katie Paul and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Krystal Hu in New York Editing by Kenneth Li, Leslie Adler, Matthew Lewis and Bernard Orr)

https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/news/elon-musk-hints-he-could-seek-to-cut-44bn-price-for-twitter-citing-more-fake-accounts-as-he-responds-to-ceo-with-poop-emoji-41657028.html Elon Musk hints he may try to slash Twitter’s price by $44 billion, citing more fake accounts as he responds with poop emoji to CEO

Fry Electronics Team

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