Fake accounts are at the heart of the lawsuit between Elon Musk and Twitter as the social network attacks the CEO of Tesla after his failed attempt to buy the blue bird for 44 billion dollars.
The showdown between Elon Musk and Twitter continues. The debates between the two parties focus on the “bots”, namely the fake accounts that prompted the billionaire to retract in his attempt to buy the social network.
Indeed, the lawyers of the richest man in the world on Friday justified his decision to cancel the purchase agreement in particular by the alleged refusal of Twitter to provide all the information requested on the number of fake accounts and spam. , following which the blue bird firm initiated proceedings.
Generally speaking, bots are automated software that interacts with platforms or their users, often by impersonating real people.
But the social network has established rules about these automated accounts, which notably prohibit them from posting messages on hot topics, sending spam, trying to influence online conversations and operating multiple accounts simultaneously.
The company claims to combat fake accounts and those guilty of spam on a daily basis, and thus maintain their number under 5% of the total number of users.
Lawyers for Elon Musk have accused Twitter of “making false and misleading statements” and failing to provide details the billionaire needed to assess the true number of fake accounts.
Determining the number of bots on the site is a tricky exercise because the count depends both on Twitter’s internal criteria and on the employees who apply these rules.
Twitter’s lawsuits, which seek to force Elon Musk to honor the original agreement, could lead to scrutiny of the company’s definition of bots and the measures taken.
The Tesla boss’s lawyers assure that he has already inquired, “for almost two months” but without success, of “Twitter’s methodology and performance data related to the identification and suspension of spam accounts and fake accounts”. But according to Twitter lawyers, Musk has shown “very little interest” in the company’s methods.
Some observers suggest that Elon Musk could have used the complex bot issue as a pretext to renege on his takeover bid.
Also, Twitter derives its revenue from advertising, and advertisers pay to address people, not algorithms.
If advertisers pay fees on Twitter based on the number of people who see their ads, and those numbers are inflated by bots on the network, they’re being overcharged, he says.
If Twitter has many more bots than it is letting on, its revenue could plummet once these fake accounts are identified and taken down.
An argument put forward by Elon Musk’s lawyers: the “actual” number of daily Twitter users who may be exposed to ads “is a key component of the company’s business, given that approximately 90% of its revenue comes from advertising.