Elon Musk Wins: Twitter Relents by Agreeing To Provide the Data on the Platform’s Fake Accounts

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To the victor go the spoils. In the one-upmanship that has been going on between the CEO of Tesla and Twitter over the past couple of weeks, the social media giant has blinked first by acquiescing to a major demand of Elon Musk.

As per the reporting by Washington Post, Twitter has agreed to provide Musk unfettered access to its “firehose” – a massive stream of internal data that comprises of over 500 million tweets that are posted each day. The data delivery is expected to take place by the end of this week.

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On the 06th of June, Musk had thrown a gauntlet by sending a letter to Twitter’s board, demanding additional information on the quantum of fake or spam accounts that constitute a part of Twitter’s Daily Active Users (DAUs) metric. Moreover, Musk had termed Twitter’s continued reluctance to provide additional clarity on this front a “clear material breach” of the agreement between the two parties, whereby the CEO of Tesla intends to take the social media giant private in a $44 billion deal:

“Based on Twitter’s behavior to date, and the company’s latest correspondence, in particular, Mr. Musk believes the company is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights (and the company’s corresponding obligations) under the merger agreement. This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement ….”

Previously, Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, had claimed in a tweet that it was impossible to perform a third-party audit of the company’s DAUs, as per Musk’s demands, “given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share).” Twitter’s reservations extended from the fact that “Musk did not ask to enter into a confidentiality agreement or seek from Twitter any non-public info regarding Twitter” before the takeover deal was finalized, as per a filing by the social media giant. Consequently, the social media giant believed that the current standoff was spawned by Musk’s desire to hammer out a lower takeover price for the platform.

Of course, the recent demands from the Texas Attorney General (AG), Ken Paxton, might have something to do with Twitter’s newfound amicability. As we had reported earlier this week, Paxton issued a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) on the 06th of June to probe whether Twitter’s reporting on the quantum of fake accounts populating its platform is “false, misleading, or deceptive” under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Crucially, the CID will compel the platform to hand over all pertinent documents on “how it calculates and manages its user data and how these numbers relate to Twitter’s advertising businesses.” The social media giant has until the 27th of June to comply.

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