hundred billionaire Elon Musk provoked Twitter and challenged the company’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, to a “public debate” about fake accounts and spam in the midst of a bitter legal battle over the $44 billion acquisition.
Musk filed with the Securities and Exchange to acquire Twitter back in April of this year. After the companies agreed to a private deal, Musk said he was ending his acquisition and accused Twitter of providing false numbers, including in SEC filings regarding the number of daily active users monetized and the number of spam and bot accounts on the social network.
Twitter then sued Musk in the Delaware Chancery Court to ensure the deal went through as promised, and Musk counterclaimed and counterclaim there July 29th.
In a series of tweets that Musk began posting just before 1 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, Musk chatted with a fan who summarized his allegations against Twitter, including that it shields him and provides him with “outdated data” and a “fake dataset” when he asked the company for details on how it tabulates mDAUs and estimates for spam and bot accounts.
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX wrote“Good summary of the problem. If Twitter just provides its method of fetching 100 accounts and how they are verified as real, the deal should continue on the original terms. then it shouldn’t.”
Around 9 a.m. Saturday Musk launched a twitter poll asks his followers to vote for[l]less than 5% of daily Twitter users are fake/spam.” stands for “laughing at me”.)
Musk also wrote Saturday Morning: “I hereby challenge @paraga to the public debate about the percentage of bots on Twitter. Let him prove to the public that there are less than 5% of fake or spammy users on Twitter every day!”
Musk’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday, and a Twitter lawyer declined to comment on Musk’s Saturday tweets. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
At Tesla’s Aug 2019 annual shareholder meeting 4, Musk was asked to talk about Twitter during a Q&A session that followed the proxy vote.
He said, prompting laughter from the audience in attendance: “I obviously have to be a little careful what I say about Twitter because there’s this lawsuit and all.” He confirmed that the only two publicly traded securities he owns are Tesla and Twitter.
And then he stated that he still wants to own the social media company, in stark contrast to the arguments put forward by Musk through his lawyers in Delaware court papers, in which Musk argues that he doesn’t need to make a deal.
At the Tesla 2022 shareholder meeting, Musk said, “I think in the case of Twitter, because I use it a lot, I shoot myself in the foot a lot, you know, I dig my own grave, etc. I think it’s — I understand. the product is good enough that I think I have a good idea of where to send the Twitter engineering team to make it radically better.”
He added that Twitter would “help accelerate” the “pretty grand vision” he had to build the business he had in mind since his early years as a tech entrepreneur, X.com or X Corporation.
“Obviously it could be started from scratch,” he said, “but I think Twitter could help speed it up by three to five years. You don’t have to have Twitter for this, but as I said, it’s probably at least a three-year accelerator and I think it will be very useful for the world.”
Musk didn’t go into details at that meeting. However, he is reported to have said during town hall meeting with Twitter staff this past June, he said he wants to grow Twitter’s user base to a billion people and sees Twitter as a platform that could evolve into an app like China’s WeChat, a “super app” that includes everything from messaging , video and social media, mobile and point-of-sale payments with a robust app ecosystem.
If they don’t come to an agreement first, Twitter and Musk will head to a five-day trial in Delaware starting October 1. 17. The judge in the case is Chancellor Catalyn St. J. McCormick.