Spam bots put Elon Musk's Twitter acquisition on hold

Twitter logo on a Pixel 4 XL
(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Elon Musk announced that the deal to purchase Twitter is temporarily put on hold.
  • Musk wants to confirm that bot/spam accounts only account for roughly 5% of Twitter's users.
  • He has previously spoken out about wanting to "eliminate" Twitter spam bots.
  • Musk states that he is still committed to the acquisition.

Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter is already facing a hurdle after the Tesla CEO announced on Friday that the deal has been put on a temporary hold.

The announcement came as the result of Twitter's Q1 2022 earnings, outlining the number of fake/spam accounts on the platform. According to the report, these accounts make up less than 5% of the platform's users. However, the company also noted that this was based on an internal review of sample accounts, saying that it "may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated."

It seems Musk finally caught wind of this and is now looking to confirm the numbers.

The move to put the deal on hold for this reason isn't completely unwarranted. The platform recently announced a 16% increase in monetizable daily active users (mDAU), above analyst expectations. However, Musk likely wants to know just how bad Twitter's spam problem really is in light of recent numbers.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

Aside from his comments on Twitter's moderation and his desire to turn the platform into an "arena for free speech," Musk has also stated that he wants to "eliminate" Twitter's spam bots, which are fake accounts that can artificially boost engagement and promote spam content. In an interview, he stated that they "make the product much worse."

For now, it's unclear what will happen once numbers are verified, but Musk stated in a later tweet that he's "still committed to the acquisition."

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.