Elon Musk has challenged Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a public debate about the number of fake accounts on his social media platform, a contentious issue that upended the SpaceX and Tesla CEO’s planned takeover of Twitter.
“I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage,” Mr. Musk tweeted. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!”
Twitter estimated that the number of fake or spam accounts represented fewer than 5% of its daily active users during 2022’s first quarter, according to a May regulatory filing.
Mr. Musk has cited the amount of fake activity on Twitter as he has sought to withdraw from his $44 billion deal to take over the company. Twitter sued Mr. Musk and is seeking to force him to follow through on his planned acquisition.
“If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms,” Mr. Musk tweeted Saturday. “However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”
Twitter acknowledged challenges in estimating the number of active users in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in May. Twitter said its estimate could be inaccurate and the actual number of false accounts could be higher than its estimate of fewer than 5% of users.
Twitter declined to comment on Monday.
Mr. Musk and Twitter are headed for an October trial in Delaware’s Court of Chancery, following Mr. Musk’s failed bid to delay the lawsuit last month.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.
• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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