Twitter to give Elon Musk internal data on spam, fake accounts: report

The social media giant has maintained that spam, fake accounts make up less than 5% of the platform's users

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has appeared to score a victory in his impasse with Twitter over repeated requests for its internal data on spam and fake accounts. 

The social media giant has agreed to hand over a "firehose" of data comprising more than 500 million tweets posted each day, according to The Washington Post, citing an anonymous source familiar with the company's thinking. The outlet notes that the data, which reportedly includes account information, a real-time record of tweets and the devices users tweet from, could be given to Musk as soon as this week. Currently, about two dozen companies pay to access the data, according to the Post.  

Last month, Musk said his $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter would be temporarily put on hold as he awaited details supporting Twitter's internal estimate that spam and fake accounts make up less than 5% of the platform's users. In response, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said an external review to determine the percentage would be difficult given the "critical need to use both public and private information."

In the first quarter of 2022, Twitter's monetizable daily active user (mDAU) base grew 15.9% year over year to 229 million, including 39.6 million daily active users in the U.S. and 189.4 million international daily active users. 

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The billionaire, who believes at least 20% of Twitter users are spam or fake accounts, has said his team would conduct its own random sampling to calculate the total percentage. He has also expressed a willingness to renegotiate the deal for a lower price proportionate to the total percentage.

On Monday, Musk threatened to walk away from the deal after accusing the company of breaching its obligations under the merger agreement. 

"At this point, Mr. Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Mr. Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover," attorneys for Musk wrote in a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "If Twitter is confident in its publicized spam estimates, Mr. Musk does not understand the company’s reluctance to allow Mr. Musk to independently evaluate those estimates."

Representatives for Musk did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment on the Post's report.

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A spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment on the report. However, they said that the company "has and will continue to cooperatively share information with Mr. Musk to consummate the transaction in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement." 

"We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders," the spokesperson said. "We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TWTR TWITTER INC. 38.21 -0.17 -0.44%

The deal, which recently cleared antitrust review in the U.S., would take Twitter private at $54.20 per share. It is expected to close in 2022, subject to shareholder and receipt of remaining applicable regulatory approvals.

Musk has pledged a total of $33.5 billion in equity to help finance the transaction. He is also in talks with Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey about additional financing.