Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, has put a halt on his acquisition of Twitter due to recent announcements from the company about the prevalence of spam and bot accounts on the platform. Nearly two weeks ago, Twitter released a report which stated that fake accounts on the platform made up less than 5 percent of daily users. The information lacked rigidity to support the claims, and it seemed flexible in its assessment, which became a turn-off for Musk. On this premise, Musk tweeted,
"Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users"
Twitter also hinted at taking this report with a pinch of salt, as it stated,
"The actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated. We are continually seeking to improve our ability to estimate the total number of spam accounts"
Musk claims himself as a "free speech absolutist and offered $44billion to takeover twitter on April 25th. Musk's purchase was expected to lead to a renewed focus on personal verification and a crackdown on bot accounts. To verify a user's identity on Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants them to go through a more rigorous process than simply providing an email or phone number. This would prevent the prevalence of spambots on the platform, and the authorities will be able to act on the violators of the speech laws.
Twitter's stock was initially down more than 20% in pre-market trade following the announcement, but the stock regained slightly. In his second tweet, Musk stated that he is "still committed to acquisition" two hours after his first one.