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Musk’s Questions About Twitter Bot Problem Spur Race for Answer

  • Bot percentages are difficult to calculate, even by Twitter
  • The rate of spam accounts is unlikely to get Musk out of deal
Elon Musk
Elon MuskPhotographer: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Elon Musk has said that his $44 billion purchase of Twitter Inc. hinges on the accuracy of one figure: the number of bots on the platform. That’s triggered a race for answers.

Twitter indicates in regulatory filings that the number of automated accounts is less than 5% of the total, but Musk has said he suspects that the number is much larger. If he can demonstrate that Twitter’s figures are inaccurate, the billionaire may attempt to use the information to get out of the deal or negotiate a lower price.