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Fake accounts on Twitter comprise over 13%, says Israeli tech startup

21 9 0

As Elon Musk has been publicly and loudly deliberating about the percentage of inauthentic accounts on Twitter ahead of a potential $44 billion acquisition of the company by the Tesla and SpaceX chief, Israeli researchers have placed the number in the double digits.

According to an independent analysis performed by Israeli tech startup Cyabra, the developer of a software platform that tracks fake users and accounts on social media for disinformation purposes, Twitter’s inauthentic users stand at just over 13%.

Since announcing his $44 billion offer to buy Twitter last, Musk has placed the issue of fake accounts in the limelight, saying he hopes to tackle it as part of an overhaul when/if he takes over. Last week, he put the takeover bid “temporarily on hold” as he suddenly sought more information on the problem. Musk said the hold was pending details of Twitter’s calculation that fake accounts were less than 5% of its users.

On Tuesday, he said the deal to buy Twitter could not move forward unless the company shows public proof that the figure was less than 5%. A day earlier, he gave the strongest hint yet that he would like to pay less for Twitter than his $44 billion offer and that, according to his estimates, at least 20% of Twitter’s 229 million accounts were spam bots, a percentage he said was at the low end of his assessment.

Musk told a Miami technology conference that a viable deal at a lower price would not be out of the question, according to a report by Bloomberg News, which said it viewed a livestream video of the conference posted by a Twitter user.

His appearance came hours after he began trolling Twitter CEO Paraj Agrawal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s effort to fight bots and how it has consistently estimated that less than 5% of Twitter accounts are fake.

These events bolstered theories from analysts that Musk either wants out of the deal or is seeking a lower price, largely due to a huge decline in value of Tesla stock, some of which he has pledged to finance the Twitter acquisition. Twitter shares closed Monday down just over 8% at $37.39, below where the stock was just before Musk........

© The Times of Israel

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