Elon Musk Forces Twitter’s Hand on Bot Data, Social Media Platform To Provide Full Access

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Lovekin/BEI/Shutterstock (12920948pr)Elon MuskCostume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of In America: An Anthology of Fashion, Arrivals, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA - 02 May 2022.
Stephen Lovekin/BEI/Shutterstock / Stephen Lovekin/BEI/Shutterstock

In compliance with Elon Musk’s most recent demands, Twitter will reportedly provide him access to the social media platform’s full set of internal data. This move follows the richest man on the planet saying the lack of said information represented a “material breach” of his deal to buy Twitter.

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The Washington Post reports that the board plans to offer Musk access to its full so-called “firehose,” which represents data comprising more than 500 million tweets posted each day, according to a source.

Musk has pumped the brakes on the $44 billion deal, saying that spam and bots accounted for at least 20% of users on the social media platform — a figure much higher than the “less than 5%” Twitter had disclosed in filings, as GOBankingRates previously reported.

“Our thoughts: this would end the major standoff between Musk and the Board on this hot button issue which has paused the deal,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives tweeted on June 8. “This would be a big step to get this major hot button issue around the fake accounts/bots front and center. Musk had first shot across the bow this week, glad to see Twitter Board taking this step and resolving this spiraling issue which has taken on a life of its own.”

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According to The Washington Post, the board doesn’t believe that Musk will uncover any new information, asserting that the data has been available for years to the companies that pay Twitter for the ability to analyze it.

Instead, several analysts say that Musk is looking to either walk away from the deal, or lower the purchase price. 

Musk’s lawyers sent a letter to Twitter, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 6, saying: “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.”

The letter continued, “This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement.”

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Responding to the letter, Twitter said in a statement that it “has and will continue to cooperatively share information with Mr. Musk to consummate the transaction in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement,” according to The Washington Post. “We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement at the agreed price and terms.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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