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On Saturday, Elon Musk threw down the gauntlet for a public debate with the Twitter chief executive over its spam accounts policy.
Elon Musk recently issued a challenge to Parag Agrawal of Twitter, to engage him in a public debate on the social media platform’s bots. According to the Tesla head, Agrawal should publicly prove that the number of daily fake or spam users on the microblogging platform is indeed less than 5%.
In the meantime, the Tesla CEO decided to sample public opinion on the social media company’s bot claim. Musk started a poll, asking users if they think fake or spam accounts on Twitter are less than 5%.
In a tweet thread early Saturday, Musk engaged a cybersecurity user who summarized Musk’s grievances against Twitter. Among other things, Musk suggested that he may proceed with the deal on original terms if Twitter plays ball. Firstly, Musk wants the social media giant to provide its method of sampling 100 accounts. The billionaire businessman also wants Twitter to explain how it determines account authenticity. Replying to the Twitter user @Andst7, the billionaire investor said:
“If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms. However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”
On the other hand, Twitter seems disinterested in obliging Musk’s request for a public debate with the Twitter CEO. According to a CNBC report, an inside source suggested that a Musk-Twitter debate would not occur outside of a pending trial.
Musk Public Debate Challenge Comes amid Twitter Legal Showdown
Musk’s public debate challenge to Twitter’s CEO is happening along a litigious battle with the company over a $44 billion acquisition. Although Musk signified interest in buying Twitter, he announced last month that he was pulling out of the deal. According to Musk, Twitter was not being truthful about its fake user accounts and was stonewalling his attempts to pry deeper. Musk said such tactics included refusing to cooperate with his team on data provision and sending outdated data.
Furthermore, Musk accused Twitter of including false monetizable daily active user base numbers in its SEC filings.
Upon his announcement to terminate the Twitter deal, the social media giant took legal action against Musk. Twitter dismissed the Tesla CEO’s suggestions that the company misled Musk into the deal. Part of a filing released by Twitter on Thursday read:
“According to Musk, he — the billionaire founder of multiple companies, advised by Wall Street bankers and lawyers — was hoodwinked by Twitter into signing a $44 billion merger agreement. That story is as implausible and contrary to fact as it sounds.”
Furthermore, Twitter insists that Musk must honor the terms of the buyout. However, the Tesla chief filed a countersuit against Twitter on July 29th over his resolve to back out of the acquisition.