The share of Twitter spam users has become the main contentious issue regarding Elon Musk’s agreement to buy the company.
On Tuesday morning, Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that the agreement “could not move forward” if Twitter did not provide evidence that the proportion of spam users is less than five percent.
It looks like Twitter should welcome an outside evaluation if their claims are true, he wrote in another tweet shortly thereafter.
The statement comes after Musk estimated Monday night that at least 20 percent of users are fake, and that number was at the bottom of his estimate.
Twitter shares fell 2.38 percent in pre-trading on Wall Street shortly after they opened on Tuesday morning.
On Friday, Musk announced that the acquisition agreement had been put on hold, at the same time he referred to an issue of Reuters Twitter itself reportedly estimates that fake accounts or fake bots represented less than five percent of the platform’s daily active users of income in the first quarter.
Twitter itself presented the numbers in an ad.
Explain how Twitter works
In a longer thread on Monday night, Twitter chief Parag Agrawal tried to explain the background to the numbers they provided.
There he explains that the weekly company “closes millions of user accounts” that they suspect may be spam, because they can’t do what’s called human verification. In addition, it provides a number of examples of how the company works to exclude fake users.
We know we’re not perfect when it comes to taking spam accounts. This is also why we know some people even go through the procedures I explained above (in a Twitter thread editor’s note), Agrawal wrote.
The Twitter admin further writes that it measures the number of such users internally.
Agrawal wrote that our internal estimates for the past four quarters were all well below five percent.
Different types of bot accounts
Twitter defines so-called “bots” as automated accounts.
These accounts can do the same thing as people on Twitter. They can post, follow other accounts, and retweet.
These bots are not illegal on Twitter, but company policies require them to indicate that it is a bot.
On the other hand, spam bots are defined as automated accounts that aim to manipulate and irritate. These accounts are illegal on the platform, and Twitter blocks accounts with suspicious activity.
In a post from 2020, linked by the head of Twitter regarding a thread on Monday, the company confirmed that there is a difference between these bots.
What’s even more important to focus on in 2020 is the overall behavior of the account, not just whether or not it’s automated, Twitter writes.
– It’s not just a matter of binary being fine or not – the differences between are what matters, the platform wrote.
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