Elon Musk says Twitter takeover on hold until it can prove claims about spam accounts

13 May 2022, 11:01 | Updated: 13 May 2022, 11:35

Elon Musk tweeted on Friday
Elon Musk tweeted on Friday. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Elon Musk says his Twitter takeover bid is "on hold" until it can prove no more than 5% of users are spam or fake accounts.

The world's richest man said his $44bn deal was not going ahead until details behind a calculation showing they only represented a fraction of accounts were provided.

Mr Musk, the Telsa owner who said he was a "free speech absolutist" tweeted: "Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users."

He linked his tweet to a Reuters article that reported how Twitter estimated fewer than 5% of daily active users were fake in a filing on Monday.

It said the company reported 229 million users got shown advertising on the platform in the first quarter, and included a quote from Mr Musk pledging to get rid of "spam bots".

Read more: Elon Musk says he would reverse 'foolish' Donald Trump Twitter ban

The report added: "Twitter said in the filing it faced several risks until the deal with Musk is closed, such as whether advertisers would continue to spend on Twitter and "potential uncertainty regarding our future plans and strategy"."

Mr Musk, who was awaiting for regulatory approval for his takeover, has been vocal about changes he would like to make to the platform.

He announced Donald Trump would no longer be banned from the platform after the latter was booted off following the US Capitol riots that followed his election defeat.

The South African-born tycoon, who is worth some $240bn, said in the past: "Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots or spam, scam accounts. I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump."