Twitter’s legal team has claimed that even consultants hired by Elon Musk himself were not able to verify the CEO’s estimates that the social media platform had significantly more spam and fake accounts than Twitter’s public estimates.
During a hearing at a Delaware court on Tuesday, Twitter’s legal team noted that they received documents showing that consultants Cyabra and CounterAction had been hired by Musk to produce estimates on the amount of spam on the platform. The companies produced spam estimates of 11% and 5%, respectively.
For context, Twitter has noted in its filings that less than 5% of its user base was made up of “false or spam” accounts. Musk has disagreed with this estimate, and he has used it as a key reason behind his decision to withdraw his acquisition attempt for the social media company.
Twitter’s lawyers noted that the reports of the two consultants were given to Musk a day before the Tesla CEO announced his intentions to terminate his acquisition efforts. Twitter criticized the methodologies of both data groups, despite the social media company arguing that their respective spam estimates — 11% and 5% — were broadly in line with its own public estimates.
This is quite interesting because Twitter’s legal team seemed to be focused solely on the data group whose estimate was close to its own filings. The results of the other data group that Musk hired, which estimated 11% spam on Twitter, suggested that there was more than twice the number of bots on the platform as indicated in Twitter’s public filings.
Twitter’s legal team has also claimed that Musk’s camp had been withholding communications, particularly with regards to relevant Signal messages between the Tesla CEO and investor Marc Andreessen. While Twitter has asked the court to impose sanctions on Musk over his alleged misconduct, however, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick opted not to rule immediately. Instead, she noted that she would take matters under advisement.
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