Elon Musk is putting his $44 billion takeover of Twitter “temporarily on hold” after the company claimed that less than 5% of its users are spam or fake accounts.


The Tesla chief tweeted on Friday that the deal was being frozen while he waited for details backing up Twitter’s claim:

“Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”

Musk linked his decision to a May 2 Reuters report referring to a filing with the US financial regulator, in which Twitter asserted that fake and spam accounts represented less than 5% of its daily average users:

We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5% of our mDAU during the quarter. The false or spam accounts for a period represents the average of false or spam accounts in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter. In making this determination, we applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated.

Following Musk’s announcement in April that he was offering to buy Twitter, the Tesla CEO said that he wanted to make the social media platform “better than ever” with new product features that will defeat spam bots and authenticate all humans.

As Friday’s story broke, Twitter’s share price fell by as much as 25% in pre-market trading, and is currently down around 15%.

Updated 4:53am: In a follow up tweetMusk says he is “still committed to the acquisition.”

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