Elon Musk ‘violated’ Twitter’s NDA on bot verification sample size

Update Last week, Elon Musk halted his acquisition of Twitter over the platform’s “less than 5%” bot figure.

The register asked the microblogging website how he made the estimate and was blocked, but in ensuing discussions over the weekend, Musk blurted out that the sample size was 100 accounts.

A Musk fan asked how the userbase could help uncover the “true percentage” of fake accounts and was told:

Amusingly, the next day Musk tweeted:

The number of fake accounts on Twitter is relevant as it will affect the platform’s monetization plans. The figure “less than 5%” was raised in the last publication of the results of Twitter [PDF] on April 28 which stated: “We conducted an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of fake or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 was less than 5% of our mDAU [monetizable daily active users] during the quarter.”

Obviously, Musk disputed the estimate, and his initial statement on the subject sent Twitter shares down more than 10% to $40.40, well below the $54.20 offered by Musk. They are currently sitting at $40.72.

Questions run wild about what Musk actually intends to do here. Is he trying to lower the price? Are there any doubts? Maybe he’s looking for a way to walk away from the deal without losing face.

Richard Holway, analyst at TechMarketView, said: “You may think this is just an entertaining sideshow. But real people are being hurt. Twitter has already announced job losses and rescinded job offers. Recent Twitter stock buyers may well have taken on Musk Obviously, that wasn’t so wise as they are now suffering big losses.

“I always thought there were business regulations around price-sensitive ads. Every tweet from Musk moves the markets – see his comments about taking cryptocurrency to buy Tesla cars, etc.

“This is all becoming a little more than a joke now…” ®

Updated to add

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal responded by Tweeter that the less than five percent estimate comes from “multiple (repeating) human reviews of thousands of accounts, which are randomly sampled, consistently over time, from accounts that we count as mDAUs [monetizable daily active users]. We do it quarterly, and we’ve been doing it for many years.”

Comments are closed.