Twitter Boss Hits Back On Musk Doubts Over Fake Accounts

The head of Twitter has hit back after Elon Musk said his $44bn deal to buy the platform was "on hold" while he sought details about fake accounts.

In a series of tweets, Parag Agrawal defended the firm's estimates that spam accounts were less than 5% of users.

Mr Musk responded with a poo emoji, later repeating his claim that Twitter was underestimating the figure.

Analysts have speculated that Mr Musk may be looking for ways to renegotiate the price of the deal or walk away.

Those theories were fuelled further on Monday, after Bloomberg reported that Mr Musk had said at a tech conference that a deal at a lower price was "not out of the question".

He also said spam accounts might be four times Twitter's claims.

Mr Agrawal defended the firm's count, saying he would discuss the issue "with the benefit of data, facts, and context".

He said the company used a combination of public and private data to determine which accounts were real, reviewing random samples every few months. He added that Twitter suspended roughly 500,000 suspect accounts daily and locked millions more.

The margins of error are well within its estimate of spam accounts representing less than 5% of daily users, Mr Agrawal said.

He said the firm had shared an "overview" of its process with Mr Musk last week.

"We... look forward to continuing the conversation with him, and all of you," he said, Mr Musk last week said he had put the deal on hold pending information "supporting [the] calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users".
He added later that he was "still committed to [the] acquisition", prompting Twitter board chairman Bret Taylor to respond "We are too".