Twitter fires and seeks to reassure Elon Musk on fake accounts

While doubt still hangs over a possible takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, the social network is seeking to respond to the billionaire’s demands and is laying off.

Elon Musk had announced that he wanted to buy Twitter for 44 billion dollars at the end of April, or 54.20 dollars per share, before temporarily suspending this offer three weeks later. In question ? The proportion of fake accounts on the network, according to him. But is this a serious concern or a strategy to drive down the stock price and renegotiate the acquisition price? Worse, isn’t Musk trying to withdraw from the operation? The question remains open.

Less than 100 layoffs

In the meantime, in this context of uncertainty, Twitter has laid off dozens of employees in its recruitment teams. Recruiters and other people responsible for finding and recruiting new talent are concerned, according to the Wall Street Journal which reports the information on July 7, 2022. A statement confirmed by the social network which specified that less than 100 people were concerned. Previously, Twitter had already announced a hiring freeze as part of an attempt to cut costs.

The agreement is “seriously threatened” and “it is likely that a change of direction from Musk’s team will come soon”, reported the Washington Post on Thursday, July 7. However, according to the terms of the agreement, it would be difficult for Elon Musk not to complete the acquisition. The billionaire has agreed to go through with the acquisition unless something major happens to Twitter’s business. Legal experts doubt that the problem of fake accounts, widely highlighted lately, is enough. The share price of the social network having fallen since its takeover offer, Elon Musk could be tempted to want to renegotiate downwards.

Twitter and its unverifiable pledges of good faith

Attempting to show its good faith, Twitter announced at a press conference that it is deleting more than a million fake accounts every day, as reported by Reuters. Twitter reaffirmed that these fake accounts account for well under 5% of users who receive advertising, a figure that has remained unchanged in its public records since 2013. These are people who manually review thousands of random Twitter accounts. They use a combination of public and private data (like IP address) in order to calculate and report to shareholders the proportion of fake accounts on the service, Twitter explained.

The social network said it does not believe that a calculation of these fake accounts can be carried out externally because it would require access to private information. But Twitter declined to comment on what kind of data it would provide to Elon Musk. The position of the latter is to say that the figures provided by Twitter on this subject are not verifiable, according to the Washington Post. If Twitter was reluctant at first, the social network is determined to go all the way. A breach of the agreement would likely lead to a further drop in its stock market.

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