Twitter says it removes a million fake accounts per day amid Musk pressure


Fake accounts deleted by Twitter every day


Somehow we’ve ended up at a point where Elon Musk’s entire Twitter buyout hinges on the precise number of spam and bot accounts posting across the platform. Anonymous sources from Musk’s camp told The Washington Post this week that the deal is dangerously close to falling apart, and, yes, the company’s data on fake Twitter accounts is the point upon which Musk continues to harp.

In response to this ongoing debacle, Twitter has gone ahead and released some more data about those fake accounts. More than a million accounts are removed from the site every single day in an effort to keep Twitter free of bots and spam, the company told reporters in a briefing.

Twitter also maintained — again — that less than five percent of all accounts at any given time are spam. Musk has contended that this number is at least 20 percent, though he’s provided no evidence to back up this claim.

Excuses at every turn — It’s been more than two months now since the Tesla Technoking announced his intentions to buy the entirety of Twitter for $44 billion, and little progress has been made on the deal actually closing. That’s because Musk became obsessed with the number of bots on the platform; by mid-May, he’d essentially put the deal on ice.

This has since become Musk’s new favorite refrain: I’m not buying Twitter until we learn the truth about the bots. Twitter has been entirely cooperative, at least as it appears from here, and has gone as far as to give Musk’s team access to Twitter’s “fire hose,” which includes every bit of information on every account and every tweet.

Whether or not Musk’s concerns are valid is the subject of much speculation in the media right now, but his team’s most recent comments to The Washington Post make it abundantly clear that the bots are just an excuse. Have fun parsing this one out: “The person said it was likely a change in direction from Musk’s team would come soon, though they did not say exactly what they thought that change would be.”

Twitter has the upper hand — Twitter releasing these latest bot figures suggests there's no obfuscation happening on the company’s part. It has no reason to hide anything, really, because Musk has already signed a binding contract. Twitter has the right to force Musk into closing the deal.

This fake account excuse is running low on fuel fast. What Musk will do next is unclear. If he tries to terminate the deal, we’ll have a high-stakes legal battle to look forward to. The prolonged battle over Musk’s acquisition has already done significant damage to Twitter, with the company conducting layoffs as it watches its stock price tick ever downward.