Twitter deal ‘temporarily on hold’, says Elon Musk after fake accounts report

Elon Musk has put the Twitter deal on hold. File photo

World’s richest person and Tesla CEO Elon Musk who was set to take over Twitter for $44 billion, on Friday (May 13) said the deal to buy the social media company was “temporarily on hold”.

Musk took to his Twitter account to reveal this as he responded to a report where it was stated that the social media giant has less than 5% of spam/fake accounts.

Also read: Tesla, Twitter shares drop as Elon Musks legal issues grow

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk tweeted.


Last month, Musk had said his top priority after buying Twitter is to eliminate spam bots. “A top priority I would have is eliminating the spam and scam bots and the bot armies that are on Twitter. They (scam bots) make the product much worse. If I had a Dogecoin for every crypto scam I saw, we’d have 100 billion Dogecoin,” Musk said at TED 2022 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Earlier this month, in a filing at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (USSEC), Twitter said, there are less than 5% of fake or spam accounts of its monetizable daily active usage or users (mDAU) in the first quarter of 2022.

“… there are a number of false or spam accounts in existence on our platform. We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5% of our monetizable daily active usage or users (mDAU during the quarter,” Twitter said in its filing.

“The false or spam accounts for a period represents the average of false or spam accounts in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter. In making this determination, we applied significant judgment, so 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.

“We are continually seeking to improve our ability to estimate the total number of spam accounts and eliminate them from the calculation of our mDAU, and have made improvements in our spam detection capabilities that have resulted in the suspension of a large number of spam, malicious automation, and fake accounts. We intend to continue to make such improvements. After we determine an account is spam, malicious automation, or fake, we stop counting it in our mDAU, or other related metrics.

“We also treat multiple accounts held by a single person or organization as multiple mDAU because we permit people and organizations to have more than one account. Additionally, some accounts used by organizations are used by many people within the organization. As such, the calculations of our mDAU may not accurately reflect the actual number of people or organizations using our platform,” Twitter added.

Last month, Twitter said it had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a private entity affiliated with Musk.

“The purchase price is $54.20 per share. We expect the transaction to close in 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Upon completion of the transaction (or the “closing”), Twitter will become a privately held company,” the company said.