Musk dares Twitter CEO for open debate on fake accounts

by IANS |

San Francisco, Aug 7 (IANS) Amid the ongoing legal dispute over the $44 billion takeover deal to buy Twitter, tech mogul Elon Musk has challenged the platform's CEO Parag Agrawal to have a public debate on fake accounts and spam.

While replying to a user who summarised his accusations, which included Twitter stonewalling Musk and giving him "outdated data" about the microblogging platform, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO wrote a "good summary of the problem".

"If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they are confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms. However, if it turns out that their Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings are materially false, then it should not," Musk said in a series of tweets.

"I hereby challenge Parag Agrawal to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage. Let him prove to the public that Twitter has lesser than per cent fake or spam daily users!"

The tech billionaire also posted a poll that asked the microblogging platform's users.

"Less than 5 per cent of Twitter daily users are fake/spam," and during the first five hours of the polls, 66 per cent of the users chose "Lmaooo No".

Meanwhile, Musk's die-hard fan Pranay Pathole called out SEC and wrote: "I wonder what's SEC doing here? Are they even investigating these dubious claims that are made by Twitter?"

"Good question, why aren't they?" Musk replied.

Twitter has filed a detailed response to Musk's countersuit against the micro-blogging platform, saying his claims are "factually inaccurate, legally insufficient, and commercially irrelevant".

According to Musk, he was hoodwinked by Twitter into signing a $44 billion merger agreement.

"That story is as implausible and contrary to fact as it sounds. And it is just that -- a story, imagined in an effort to escape a merger agreement that Musk no longer found attractive once the stock market -- and along with it, his massive personal wealth -- declined in value," Twitter had said in its legal response filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery in the US.

Musk's lawyers filed 90 pages of counterclaims in the court, and Twitter responded to them paragraph by paragraph.

The Tesla CEO, in his countersuit, said that his action arose out of Twitter's misrepresentations regarding the condition of the company and the "key metrics" the platform uses to evaluate the number of its users.

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