Authenticity matters. That’s true in high finance and corporate acquisitions as it is in everyday life. You wouldn’t spend millions of dollars on fake Pokemon cards, and neither would the world’s richest man spend $44 billion to purchase Twitter if it turns out that most of its active users aren’t actually real.
Today, Tesla founder Elon Musk tweeted that he’s putting his planned purchase of Twitter on hold pending verification of a recent report that stated five percent of Twitter’s monetizable daily active users during the first quarter of 2022 are spam or fake accounts.
"Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users," wrote Musk above a link to a report from Reuters. This may be just a formality, however, as Musk tweeted, "still committed to acquisition" just a few hours later.
Musk’s tweets have been known to move markets. After changing his Twitter profile to include "#bitcoin," the value of the cryptocurrency jumped more than 20%. Tweets about Cyberpunk 2077 boosted CD Projekt’s share value, and Musk tweets played a part in the GameStop stock rally back in early 2021.
After today’s tweets, Twitter’s stock value fell almost ten percent as of the time of this writing.
In case you haven't heard, Musk announced his intent to purchase Twitter last month. Twitter's board of directors seemed cool to the idea initially, even going so far as adopting a "poison pill" policy that would fend off any attempt at a hostile takeover, but negotiations eventually resulted in a price that Twitter's board accepted.
Musk's plans for Twitter include making Twitter's algorithms open source, reducing the number of spambots on the platform, and increasing revenue. He's also criticized Twitter's moderation policies, saying that they "fundamentally undermine democracy."
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