When Financial Times' reporter Dave Lee quote tweeted Elon Musk's latest surprise attack on Twitter, he asked - "How seriously do you take "temporarily on hold" at 2:51am PT?"
Indeed, how seriously should one take Musk sharing a Reuters story titled - "Twitter estimates spam, fake accounts comprise less than 5% of users" -- with the mercurial billionaire-entrepreneur writing "Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5 per cent of users".
And a while after posting this, to lay speculations to rest, Musk added:
Given that the billionaire does have the money to buy Twitter and has already been wreaking havoc internally, he should be taken seriously because he is going to be a problem for both the platform and its employees.
Musk had mentioned earlier that one of his top priorities would be to remove spam bots off Twitter, "or die trying". As the Reuters report mentions, Twitter estimated in a filing on Monday that "false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 per cent of its monetisable daily active users during the first quarter".
So, Twitter has 229 million users who were served ads in the first quarter and out of these, less than 5 per cent are spam bots.
Twitter has bots, and Musk doesn't like it. But is that reason enough to put the deal on hold? Evidently, going by Musk's logic, which is apparent to no one bar him.
Going by the agreement, if the Twitter deal falls through, Musk has to pay up a $1 billion termination fee. And given the way Musk has been toying with the company, it will not be wholly surprising if one day at random 3AM he decides that he doesn't want this anymore.
Two of Twitter's top executives had already quit the company on Thursday, with one of them mentioning that they were asked to leave. Ever since the agreement that Twitter would let Musk buy it was fixed, Musk has serially attacked the company for decisions made in the past, trolled Twitter's top lawyer Vijaya Gadde, and has been yelling off the ramparts about free speech. It's very difficult to take him seriously at this point as a man who can be trusted with a platform like Twitter.
At this point, we are just hoping he pays that $1 billion and just goes back to sleep to shitpost another day.
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