Following a quiet few weeks for Elon Musk’s proposed deal to acquire Twitter, the Washington Post reported Thursday that the deal is “in peril” and “in serious jeopardy.” According to the report, Musk’s side “has stopped engaging in certain discussions around funding.”
After agreeing in April to the $44 billion deal, Musk began intimating that he was not happy with the current state of the deal on his Twitter and in official filings, adding that he specifically doubted Twitter’s claims that only about 5 percent of its accounts were spam accounts. Musk had gone so far as to declare that the deal was “on hold” in May.
Twitter eventually agreed to give Musk access to its “fire hose” of data, but even after that, the Post’s sources said that “Musk’s team’s doubts about the spam figures signal they believe they do not have enough information to evaluate Twitter’s prospects as a business.” Musk owes a $1 billion breakup fee in the event that the deal does not go through.
There had been speculation that the concerns were a way to get Twitter to renegotiate the purchase price of the deal, but Twitter has been adamant that it was not budging from the agreed-upon purchase price. The Guardian reported on Thursday that Twitter said it suspends about one million spam accounts per day, which represents a doubling of the figure cited just a couple of months earlier.
“We suspend over half a million spam accounts every day, usually before any of you even see them on Twitter. We also lock millions of accounts each week that we suspect may be spam – if they can’t pass human verification challenges (captchas, phone verification, etc),” Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, said on Twitter on May 16.
“The hard challenge is that many accounts which look fake superficially – are actually real people. And some of the spam accounts which are actually the most dangerous – and cause the most harm to our users – can look totally legitimate on the surface,” he continued.
That isn’t the only trouble Musk is having. Business Insider reported earlier in the week that Musk recently became the father of twins, along with a woman who works for one of his companies, Neuralink. That brings the entrepreneur’s known total of children to ten. Musk confirmed the reports, saying on Twitter that he was doing his “best to help the underpopulation crisis.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.