Elon Musk puts Twitter deal on hold 'temporarily' over fake account details

Tesla chief wanted details of the number of spam accounts on the social media platform


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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Fri 13 May 2022, 3:31 PM

Last updated: Fri 13 May 2022, 10:25 PM

Elon Musk said on Friday he was temporarily halting his much-anticipated deal to buy Twitter, sending shares for the social media giant plunging.

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

Musk, the world’s richest man and founder of automaker Tesla, had made the eradication of spam accounts and bots one of the centrepieces of his proposed $44 billion takeover of Twitter.

When the deal was announced in late April, he said he wanted to make Twitter “better than ever” by “defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans”.

But his potential stewardship of the social media platform has hit several bumps since then.

On Wednesday, Musk said he would be open to lifting a ban on former president Donald Trump imposed after the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Activist groups had called on advertisers to boycott the platform if Musk opened the gates to abusive and misinformative posts.

Friday’s announcement saw shares drop by 20 per cent in early electronic trading before Wall Street opened.


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