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Elon Musk puts deal to buy Twitter temporarily on hold

Musk said that the deal is temporarily on hold pending details supporting the calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users

Elon Musk

Elon Musk has put his plan to buy Twitter temporarily on hold. As per the Tesla Motors CEO, the stay will be in place until he is able to pinpoint the exact number of spam and fake accounts on the microblogging platform.

Musk has been vocal about his desire to clean up Twitter's problem with spam bots that mimic real people and appeared to question whether the company was underreporting them.

The deal is temporarily on hold pending details supporting the calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users, Musk said, indicating he's skeptical that the number of inauthentic accounts is that low.

In the next tweet he said that his team would check 100 random followers of Twitter and even asked others users to do the same.

It wasn't clear whether the issue could scuttle the deal. Musk later tweeted that he's still committed to acquisition.

In its quarterly filing with the SEC, even Twitter doubted that its count of bot accounts was correct, conceding that the estimate may be low. 

A review of Twitter filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission shows that the estimate of spam-bot accounts and similar language expressing doubts about it have been in Twitter's quarterly and annual reports for at least two years, well before Musk made his offer and it would have been known to him and his advisors.

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