Elon Musk: Twitter buy ‘on hold’ to probe spam, bot accounts

Elon Musk said Friday his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter is “on hold” while he attempts to nail down how many spam and phony accounts are on the social platform.The Tesla and SpaceX founder tweeted the news Friday, linking to a report that said fewer than 5% of Twitter’s monetized users over the first quarter of 2022 involved false or spam accounts.

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

Tesla lost $400 billion in market value after Musk announced his interest in buying Twitter, and the entrepreneur said last week that he’d collected more than $7 billion in financing from Oracle founder Larry Ellison, cryptocurrency exchange Binance, the Qatar sovereign wealth fund and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Earlier this week, Musk said he would end the permanent Twitter ban against former President Donald Trump — who was kicked off the platform in early 2021 for inciting violence related to the Jan. 6 assault at the U.S. Capitol by radical supporters.

On Thursday, Twitter announced a leadership shuffle, removing consumer product leader Kayvon Beykpour and Bruce Falck, the company’s general manager of revenue and head of product. Jay Sullivan, vice president of consumer product, will take over Falck’s roles.

“Effective this week, we are pausing most hiring and backfills, except for business critical roles,” Twitter spokesman Adrian Zamora said according to The Verge.

“We are pulling back on non-labor costs to ensure we are being responsible and efficient.”