The purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk has become a real soap opera whose last chapter happened this Monday. After the tycoon said last Friday that he was going to freeze the purchase of the social network until the company gave him details about the real percentage of fake and spam accounts on the platform, he said yesterday at the All-In Summit of Miami that the operation could fail and that the possibility of talking about a lower price than the one agreed almost a month ago (44 billion dollars) “is not out of the question,” according to the Financial Times.
The problem. The main point of disagreement between Musk and those responsible for Twitter at the moment has to do with the percentage of false accounts that currently exist on the social network. According to the still leaders of the platform, they are less than 5%, a figure that the South African tycoon has been questioning since May 13.
As Musk explained through his Twitter account This Tuesday, those responsible for the social network refuse to show evidence that false accounts are actually less than 5% of the total number of platform users, and assures that they believe that the real percentage is around 20%. Given these suspicions, the magnate affirms that his offer of 44,000 million dollars would have been based on inaccurate data, which is why he would be rethinking the purchase.
In response to Musk’s accusations, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on Monday explained in a long thread the work of its employees to combat fake accounts and assured that every day they block approximately half a million of them. Information that did not convince the owner of Tesla and SpaceX at all, who replied to Parag Agrawal with a scatological emoji.
Reality or strategy? The truth is that Twitter has not given details about how it internally calculates the number of false accounts that exist on the platform. But Musk has also not said where he got the percentage of 20% with which he has justified the temporary freezing of the operation. At the moment, therefore, it is Agrawal’s word against that of the South African tycoon.
Thus, it is not clear if Musk actually sees his investment in danger, and that is why he is rethinking the purchase, or if he is taking advantage of the doubts about the real percentage of false accounts to generate more noise and try to lower the bulky price of the operation. What is certain is that he is starring in a new episode of the already long soap opera that the acquisition of Twitter has become.
a stormy love. Elon Musk has been expressing his love for Twitter for a long time. It is the platform he chooses to communicate many of his most important decisions and to have fun whenever he wants with messages that shake the technological and financial sectors.
However, it is not an unconditional passion, since the tycoon has repeatedly criticized the policies of moderation of the social network and has accused her on several occasions of lack of freedom of expression. Something that even led her to propose the creation of her own open source Twitter. But Elon believes in the platform, despite its flaws, and as sometimes happens in romantic relationships, far from accepting it as it is, he believes that he can change it.
From courtship to marriage. Thus, a few days after considering the creation of his own social network, Musk surprised everyone with the purchase of 9.2% of Twitter shares for a total of 2,890 million dollars. Thus began a courtship in which the tycoon found an uncomfortable reality: although he was the largest shareholder of the platform, he had to share it with the other owners, and he wanted it only for himself.
For this reason, after a few weeks, 9.2% of the shares were obtained, he took a significant leap forward and proposed to take over Twitter completely for an exorbitant amount, 44,000 million dollars. A proposal that the current owners of the social network accepted after several days of negotiation. Elon had achieved it, the social network that he wanted so much was going to be completely his.
Coexistence problems. However, after a few days of living with Twitter, Elon realized that the defects that had caused him some rejection from the outside could be much worse than he had imagined, so he decided to stop the commitment until he was sure that the problems that the social network suffers from are not going to lead to their marriage failing. Or maybe he just wants the wedding to be a little cheaper.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism