Twitter says analysts contradict Musk on number of fake accounts

New turnaround in the case between Elon Musk and Twitter. Lawyers for the social network claim that analysts hired by the billionaire have contradicted him on the number of fake accounts and spam on the platform.

Analysts who agree with Twitter

Elon Musk announced the acquisition of Twitter for 44 billion dollars in April 2022. However, he changed his mind a few months later, in July, accusing it of “ retention of fake accounts “. According to the CEO of Tesla, there are many more fake accounts on Twitter than the 5% announced by the platform. Statements that the leaders of the social network quickly denied, before filing a complaint against Musk. The trial between the two parties will begin on October 17.

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This Tuesday, September 27, a three-hour hearing was held in a Delaware court during which both sides asked the judge to order their opponent to provide more messages or documents. It was on this occasion that Twitter lawyers claimed that certain documents in their possession showed that two different consultants hired by Musk, Cyabra and CounterAction, had produced estimates of the amount of spam and fake accounts on Twitter of 11% and 5%, respectively, numbers broadly in line with Twitter’s public estimates.

In this context, the social network demands that Elon Musk provide more information on the work of the consultants hired, reports Ars-Technica.

Many accusations against Elon Musk

For Twitter, Elon Musk used the excuse of fake accounts to withdraw from the agreement and would in fact be motivated by other elements, particularly by the fall in the markets. Twitter has also sent subpoenas to banks and investors to obtain, among other things, documents and communications on the efforts made by the billionaire to finance the takeover.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Twitter said Musk’s team failed to pass messages between Musk and James Gorman, chief executive of Morgan Stanley, as well as Larry Ellison of Oracle. The social network has thus asked the court to impose sanctions on Musk for misconduct and accuses him of concealing details likely to go against his legal argument. The lawyers also denounced the behavior of the billionaire, who would have engaged in a ” delay and obstruction scheme over the past two months.

A trial that promises to be very heated

As a reminder, Elon Musk is seeking to demonstrate that Twitter is guilty of dishonesty in the way it measures spam and fake accounts on its platform. If there are indeed many more of these accounts than Twitter claims, it would directly hamper Musk’s plans for the social network, since the number of monetizable accounts would be far lower than expected. To support his argument, he should use the revelations of a former Twitter employee during the trial, the latter having claimed that the platform had deliberately lied to the businessman.

The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is expected to last five days and will see prestigious witnesses parade, like Jack Dorsey, founder and former CEO of the social network.

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