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Elon Musk said yesterday his $44B deal to buy Twitter can’t move forward unless the company proves that fewer than 5% of total users are fake. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has been vocal about wanting to clean up spam bots and estimates at least 20% of Twitter’s 229 million daily active users are spam. Musk, who said his offer is contingent on evidence backing the claim, has also indicated he may eye a lower price for the potential acquisition.
The issue over spam bots began Friday, when Musk tweeted the deal was temporarily on hold until Twitter explains how it calculates fake accounts. Twitter made the 5% claim in quarterly filings this month, acknowledging the figure may be higher. On Monday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal explained the company’s approach to fake accounts, reaffirming spam accounts make up fewer than 5% of active users each quarter.
Separately, Twitter is losing three more senior employees after two product executives left last week.