May 13, 2022

"Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users."

Tweeted Elon Musk, quoted in "Elon Musk tweeted that Twitter deal is temporarily on hold/The Tesla CEO, who has been seeking Twitter investors as his EV company sheds $400 billion in value, later says that he’s 'still committed’ to the acquisition" (WaPo).

The problem of Twitter bots also isn’t new to Musk. He has cited ridding the social media site of spam bots, or automated accounts that often promote products or schemes, as one of his main focuses for improving Twitter. 

41 comments:

RideSpaceMountain said...

Bots are a problem, but the bigger problem is account farms. An automated account is just beholden to its algorithm, but fake accounts have a human brain behind them.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Smells like market manipulation. We’ll get to sue Musk but do we also get to sue the Althouse commenters who said The Twitter board had to take the deal?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Twitter now?
Anyone who mocks a precious leftist, will be banned.

Say what you want about conservatives. You can even threaten conservatives with death. Like the Germans did to the Jews.

iowan2 said...

Rush explained on his show several times exactly how a twitter storm works.

Rush probably was the target more that any other single individual, so he knew he had to find an answer. He had the money and dug into what happens. Several hundered people, controlling ~100 bots, could look like 100's of thousands. Rush spent the time and money to do the work to document how it worked and took it to his advertisers. Proving their fears had no basis in numbers.

Musk is negotiate for a cheaper price.

Somebody on TV used an analogy of buying eggs. If Costco is looking to buy eggs, they ask what the breakage rate is. The seller says <5%, they agree on that price AND breakage rate.

Musk is seeing what the true bot (breakage) rate is.

Christopher B said...

Also, from Pixy Misa @ AoSHQ ..

It's the Night of the Blunt Knives at Twitter. (The Verge)

CEO Parag Agrawal is clearing the decks of the most competent senior executives ahead of Elon Musk's takeover so that... I got nothing.

The tweets are weird. "You're great. The best in your field. A perfect fit for the role. Also, fired."


Twitter CEO pushes out top execs, freezes hiring. ‘Parag asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction’

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Gotta side with Elon here. “5%” my ass! Twitter has difficulty telling the truth.

TreeJoe said...

This reminds me of one of those plays on multiple paths to success.

Either....

-Twitter execs responsible for prejudicially silencing voices on their platform are forced to change or forced out/exit early in the process...or....
- Twitter board forces change...or....
- Twitter itself is damaged by it's behavior combined with realities of sheer bot/spam volume and how they are more focused on adjudicating individual posts than actually ensuring the integrity of their user base.

wildswan said...

Twitter and Elon Musk. Maybe better than buying it, burn it down. Close the logic gates. When every 1 is a 0, we shall be free. Show its bot content. Raise questions about Facebook bots. SUPERcalifragilisticexpialidocious

What's emanating from your penumbra said...

Moral of the story: don't oversell. Once you get the deal, and then they find out you lied, it's just an excuse to get the price down. I've seen it a lot.

Owen said...

Wouldn't it be funny if the whole tender offer by Musk were actually a head-fake designed to expose the Wokies in Twitter management and chase them out of their comfy corner offices, after which Elon walked from the deal due to too much cooking of its books? Yes, it would cost him a few billion in break-up fees, but it would pretty well destroy Twitter's market value and credibility. And it would spare him the headache of figuring out how to run this toxic waste-dump, which under his ownership would be a massive target for sabotage and vitriol by his enemies.

Elegant!

Mark said...

Who, beyond everyone, could have seen this one coming?

Like Desantis and Disney, this was all about the press coverage and adoring fanbase and less about something that is actually going to happen as scheduled in 2023.

Elon Musk is all about the ego of Elon Musk, this whole Twitter thing was a wonderful way to put himself back in the headlines where he likes to reside.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I’m curious how Musk will defend against a market manipulation allegation. Will Musk be arguing that spam/fake accounts being less than 5% removes one of his main reasons for buying Twitter? With the drop in the Twitter share piece, the return for buying now if the deal goes through at $54.20 is a whopping 33%.

D.D. Driver said...

"Show me that you haven't been committing securities fraud for a decade."

Seems prudent to me.

Beasts of England said...

'Smells like market manipulation.'

'Elon Musk is all about the ego of Elon Musk...'

Always nice to start the day with some lefty hot takes!!

cassandra lite said...

Owen said...
"Wouldn't it be funny if the whole tender offer by Musk were actually a head-fake designed to expose the Wokies in Twitter management and chase them out of their comfy corner offices, after which Elon walked from the deal due to too much cooking of its books? Yes, it would cost him a few billion in break-up fees, but it would pretty well destroy Twitter's market value and credibility. And it would spare him the headache of figuring out how to run this toxic waste-dump, which under his ownership would be a massive target for sabotage and vitriol by his enemies."

Except it won't become or be replaced by something nearly approaching even-handedness. It will inexorably resort to what it was, driven by the same lefty animus. The bots will return, and the media will report on them the way they do now, because that's how they've learned to roll.

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yancey Ward said...

All online entities whose business revenue depends on advertising sales are likely frauds on a large scale. I would guess Twitter fakes at least half their "eyeball numbers", either directly or indirectly, and they still find it difficult to make money on net. If he does buy Twitter, he shouldn't pay more than $20/share, which is about 40% of what he has actually offerred.

Narayanan said...

CEO Parag Agrawal is clearing the decks
========
is he confident about keeping his job? or hiding malfeasance/bodies?

tim maguire said...

Left Bank of the Charles said...We’ll get to sue Musk but do we also get to sue the Althouse commenters who said The Twitter board had to take the deal?

???

Ok, I’ll bite. What would the legal theory be? And please try to make it sound like an actual theory.

Drago said...

Dumb Lefty Mark: "Elon Musk is all about the ego of Elon Musk, this whole Twitter thing was a wonderful way to put himself back in the headlines where he likes to reside."

So much mindreading going on...

Drago said...

Left Bank of the Charles: "Smells like market manipulation. We’ll get to sue Musk but do we also get to sue the Althouse commenters who said The Twitter board had to take the deal?"

Yes, Left Bank really is that dense.

I wonder who might be responsible for allowing tbousands/tens of thoussnds/hundreds of thousands/millions(?) of bot accounts to exist on twitter in order to artificially inflate user numbers and ad revenue in addition to serving democratical social medis swarm tactics?

Here's a hint for the hopeless Left Bank: its not Elon or Althouse commenters.

Would you like to try again?

tim maguire said...

Mentally, I put bots in the same category as Russia! Russia! Russia!

A bot is anyone who says something I don’t like while having fewer than 100 followers. Why I should create 10,000 bots that don’t follow each other is a mystery the conspiratorial drama queens never answer.

Beasts of England said...

’Will Musk be arguing that spam/fake accounts being less than 5% removes one of his main reasons for buying Twitter?’

It’s my understanding that the spam/bot accounts may represent significantly more than 5%, hence his reticence.

Howard said...

Elon is the wizard of Id. He has a child like view of the world: first principles theory of problem solving. He has the least ego of all the billionaire celebrities. If he was ego dominant, he wouldn't be able to do SoaceX and Tesla.

I'm sure he and his team are great at doing a forensic analysis to find out where all the bodies are buried. An example of something relatable to that is watching how Gordon Ramsay goes into the bowels of people's crappy restaurants and finds out exactly what all their problems are... the basics

Jason said...

Tim Maguire Ok, I’ll bite. What would the legal theory be? And please try to make it sound like an actual theory.

Forget it. He's rolling.

Drago said...

The Hopeless Left Bank: "I’m curious how Musk will defend against a market manipulation allegation. Will Musk be arguing that spam/fake accounts being less than 5% removes one of his main reasons for buying Twitter?"

You should stop posting now as your missives are approaching supernova levels of stupidity.

If Musk and analysts determine the powers that be at Twitter have long been using massive bot-inflated user numbers it opens up all kinds of possibilities for Musk to lower his purchase price for this deal. A deal that just this morning Musk publicly affirmed his desire to complete.

I am not surprised in the least that Left Bank and Dumb Lefty Mark are all over the field with their moronic hot takes, but I will admit to being somewhat surprised they havent found a way to drag Putin into the conversation.

The day is young however so there is still time....

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...


"Musk is negotiate for a cheaper price."

Exactly and obviously. Musk is like Mattie Ross in True Grit. The negotiation is always open until it's in your possession.





readering said...

Twitter ... Chocolate milk ... Twitter ...

Rusty said...

Beasts of England said...
"'Smells like market manipulation.'

'Elon Musk is all about the ego of Elon Musk...'

Always nice to start the day with some lefty hot takes!!"
People who have never done anything are envious of people who do things.

Critter said...

Until the full price is paid and the deal closes both sides can do their due diligence. Musk would be a fool not to do so. Most deals are not as public as this one, so some people are seeing the process for the first time.

mikee said...

Is Elon allowed to enjoy and romanticize his own life, as if he were its main character, as the next post up suggests for all us plebes?

jc somewhere said...

the big surprise is that Musk owns the bot accounts and knows they are more than 5%

Acme of Evolution said...

Matt Levine, as usual, has the best take

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-05-13/elon-musk-trolls-twitter

Drago said...

Interesting that this happening at the very moment the rabidly anti-1st amendment hack Parag Agrawal has kicked 2 key executives to the curb: Kayvon Beykpour (Twitter General Manager) and Bruce Falck (the GM for Revenue).

Hmmmmm.

Revenue.

Which is currently driven primarily by ad sales.

And ad sales are heavily dependent on the reported number of users and their demograpics.

I'm sure there is no connection.....at all....only a conspiracy theorist would think otherwise.... Quick! Notify the Ministry of Truth! Stat!

Beasts of England said...

’He has the least ego of all the billionaire celebrities. If he was ego dominant, he wouldn't be able to do SoaceX and Tesla.’

Well done, Howard. Spot on.

Drago said...

Joe Biden just today when asked why his earpiece's administration did not move more quickly on the baby formula shortage:

"If we've been been better mind readers I guess we could've...."

Whoa! Full Stop!

Dumb Lefty Mark, a mindreader extraordinaire who is always happy to share his clarvoyant insights with the Althouse commentariat, is readily available! Assuming, of course, Dumb Lefty Mark is not already fully engaged in Thought Crime/Pre-Crime trials where he is the star "witness".

Daniel12 said...

Bet he discovered he'd be responsible for content moderation and decided screw that!

I'm hoping he pulls out of the deal. Don't like Twitter (though I'm on it a lot), don't like that private sector companies own and define our online public squares, definitely don't like the idea/precedent that a billionaire can swoop in and do whatever he wants to it. Plus Musk is actually good at Tesla and SpaceX and this is politically driven distraction.

Owen said...

Cassandra lite @ 9:43: Good point. I can only speculate that, up to a point, Elon (or somebody like him: if any such person exists) might be game to play Whack-a-Woke and conduct a similar campaign against the next Twitter if it were to misbehave as egregiously as this one has. If each such iteration cost $5B in break-up fees and other transaction costs, Elon could fund the campaign more or less indefinitely.

But never mind that possibility, if Elon wrecked Twitter as he is currently doing, it would take it years to recover anything like its present potency.

If all else fails, Elon should buy the NYT and then just shut it down. Pocket money!

Mark said...

"Dumb Lefty Mark, a mindreader extraordinaire who is always happy to share his clarvoyant insights with the Althouse commentariat, is readily available! Assuming, of course, Dumb Lefty Mark is not already fully engaged in Thought Crime/Pre-Crime trials where he is the star "witness"

You moderate yet let this shit through.

You might 'discourage' personal attacks, but you personally push the button to allow it to be posted.

You must really have something for Drago, to be a part of every post like this.

Drago said...

Dumb Lefty Mark: "You moderate yet let this shit through."

Althouse is gracious enough to allow you to post your substance-free moronic "psychic" missives so instead of being upset with her, why dont you simply thank her for her patience and forebearance with you?

Dumb Lefty Mark: "You must really have something for Drago, to be a part of every post like this."

Truth, in your case inescapably true observations re: your idiotic commentary, is always a valid and solid defense.

Not to worry though. I suspect Left Bank, Inga and gadfly remain quite enthralled with your mental meanderings.

Drago said...

Dumb Lefty Mark: "You moderate yet let this shit through."

Althouse is gracious enough to allow you to post your substance-free moronic "psychic" missives so instead of being upset with her, why dont you simply thank her for her patience and forebearance with you?

Dumb Lefty Mark: "You must really have something for Drago, to be a part of every post like this."

Truth, in your case inescapably true observations re: your idiotic commentary, is always a valid and solid defense.

Not to worry though. I suspect Left Bank, Inga and gadfly remain quite enthralled with your mental meanderings.