Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Friday had put the $44 billion Twitter deal on hold temporarily over pending details supporting the calculation that spam and fake accounts represent less than 5 per cent of users. Musk has now come up with a method to determine how just how many fake accounts there are on Twitter.
"To find out, my team will do a random sample of 100 followers of @twitter," explained Musk on the micro-blogging platform.
Musk has also invited others to follow the same process and determine the percentage of bots on Twitter. "I invite others to repeat the same process and see what they discover," Musk wrote.
Moments later, Musk posted that bots are angry at being counted.
Meanwhile, a Twitter user asked the Tesla CEO how will he define "random". To this Musk replied, "Ignore first 1000 followers, then pick every 10th. I'm open to better ideas".
"If we collectively try to figure out the bot/duplicate user percentage, we can probably crowdsource a good answer," added Musk.
Another user asked Musk to elaborate on the process. "So that we as Twitter can help you in finding out the real percentage of scam/spam/bot accounts," wrote the user. "If we collectively try to figure out the bot/duplicate user percentage, we can probably crowdsource a good answer," added Musk.
"Any sensible random sampling process is fine. If many people independently get similar results for % of fake/spam/duplicate accounts, that will be telling. I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate
Reuters had on May 2 reported that Twitter estimated in a filing that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 per cent of its monetisable daily active users during the first quarter.
Twitter in its earlier filing had also said it faced several risks until the deal with Musk is closed, including whether advertisers would continue to spend on Twitter.
The micro-blogging site has 229 million users who were served advertising in the first quarter, it said.
Musk, the world's richest man, has been advocating through several tweets of late that one of his priorities would be to remove "spam bots" from the platform.
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