Saturday, August 20, 2022

Elon Musk challenges Twitter CEO to ‘public debate’ about bots

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Maybe Elon Musk doesn’t want a lawsuit with Twitter? After getting his lawyers to make a 165-page argument about why he no longer wants to go through with his $44 billion deal to buy the platform, Musk suggested we talk things out publicly — perhaps before a jury of the Tesla fans, Dogecoin hodlers, and potential Mars colonizers among his Twitter followers – to get to the bottom of Twitter’s so-called bot problem.

“I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot rate”, Musk proclaims: to all 102 million members of its forum. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam users!"

Musk promptly put the tweet on his profile and then questioned his followers whether they believe Twitter’s argument that less than five percent of monthly daily active users are “fake/spam.” The two options are “Yes” with three robot emojis (so cleverly implying that users who choose that option are also a bot) or “Lmaooo no.”

So far, 67.2 percent of users chose the “Lmaooo no” option. The poll closes on Sunday and the results will almost inevitably be skewed in Musk’s favor. It seems unlikely that this latest stunt will get a direct response from Agrawal or Twitter chairman Bret Taylor, as the actual dispute (before a real judge and jury) is just a few months away from a court hearing.

Twitter’s lawyers have already set out what the company thinks of Musk’s bot allegations (which Twitter claims Musk believes of some). site called Botometer) in quite a file of its own, with many references to tweets from him and possibly being updated to include today’s selection. Of course, they’re just experts on corporate laws and contracts — they may not have what it takes to hurl an argument run through memes, quoted tweets, and polls.


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