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Elon Musk to Do ‘Random Sample’ to See How Many Twitter Users Are Bots

  • Tesla and SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk said Friday his Twitter buyout was temporarily on hold.
  • Musk said he will conduct his own research into how many Twitter users are fake accounts.
  • Twitter said in a public filing this month less than 5% of users are fake or spam accounts.

Elon Musk on Friday said he plans to conduct his own research to determine the amount of Twitter users that are actually bots before his purchase of the social media company continues.

In a tweet sent early Friday morning, Musk said the Twitter deal was on hold until he could verify the site’s estimate that fake or spam accounts represent less than 5% of users, though he added he was “still committed” to the acquisition.

On Friday evening Musk announced how his team would evaluate the estimate.

“To find out, my team will do a random sample of 100 followers of @twitter,” Musk said in a tweet, referring to the platform’s own account, which has more than 61 million followers. “I invite others to repeat the same process and see what they discover.”

He added that he “picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate” it’s own estimate.

Twitter announced on April 25 it accepted Musk’s buyout offer. A week later, Twitter said in a public filing that fake or spam accounts made up less than 5% of its monetizable daily active users in the first quarter. 

When a Twitter user questioned if Musk had thought about this before agreeing to a $44 billion deal, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO said he “relied upon the accuracy of Twitter’s public filings.”

In a follow up tweet, Musk wrote, “The bots are angry at being counted,” along with a cry-laughing emoji.

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