Elon Musk has won another victory for transparency at Twitter.
The Space X and Tesla founder and CEO, who has made a successful bid to buy the social media platform, has been attempting to get actual numbers and data on so-called “bot” accounts, which don’t represent actual people but are mostly used to drive narratives, real and false, on various issues.
Twitter officials have estimated that somewhere around 5 – 20 percent of accounts are bots, but others have speculated that there are many times more than that.
Musk has been attempting to get the actual number, even going so far as to suggest he may pull out of the deal. But now it appears as though he has finally convinced the board of directors to hand the information over to him.
According to “After a weeks-long impasse, Twitter’s board plans to comply with Elon Musk’s demands for internal data by offering access to its full ‘firehose,’ the massive stream of data comprising more than 500 million tweets posted each day, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the state of negotiations.”
Musk’s attorneys wrote in a letter to Twitter: “We are in receipt of correspondence sent on Twitter’s behalf dated June 1, 2022, responding to Mr. Musk’s request for the data and information described in my letters dated May 25, 2022 and May 31, 2022.
Twitter plans to give Elon Musk access to a large swath of its data, potentially down to its very last tweet, after he threatened to pull out of a $44 billion deal for the company, saying it has refused to give him information about fake accounts.
— The New York Times
“Mr. Musk does not agree with the characterizations in Twitter’s June 1 letter. Twitter has, in fact, refused to provide the information that Mr. Musk has repeatedly requested since May 9, 2022 to facilitate his evaluation of spam and fake accounts on the company’s platform,” the letter continued.
“Twitter’s latest offer to simply provide additional details regarding the company’s own testing methodologies, whether through written materials or verbal explanations, is tantamount to refusing Mr. Musk’s data requests,” the letter added.
“Twitter’s effort to characterize it otherwise is merely an attempt to obfuscate and confuse the issue. Mr. Musk has made it clear that he does not believe the company’s lax testing methodologies are adequate so he must conduct his own analysis. The data he has requested is necessary to do so,” it said.
“As noted, under various terms of the merger agreement, Twitter is required to provide data and information that Mr. Musk requests in connection with the consummation of the transaction,” it continued, added: “If Twitter is confident in its publicized spam estimates, Mr. Musk does not understand the company’s reluctance to allow Mr. Musk to independently evaluate those estimates.”