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Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal defends platform’s anti-bot efforts, Elon Musk replies

In his defence of the platform, CEO Agrawal said Twitter suspended over half-million seemingly bogus accounts daily, usually before they are even seen.

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The exchange played out as Musk's $44-billion deal to buy Twitter remains temporarily on hold. (File/IE)

Twitter’s CEO Parag Agarwal has defended the platform’s battle against bots that Elon Musk said vexed the platform. However, his future boss replied to the comments with a poo emoji.

The exchange played out as Musk’s $44-billion deal to buy Twitter remains temporarily on hold, pending questions over the company’s estimates of fake accounts or bots.

In his defence of the platform, CEO Agrawal said Twitter suspended over half-million seemingly bogus accounts daily, usually before they are even seen. It also locks millions more accounts that fail checks to make sure they are controlled by humans on a weekly basis.

Agarwal said internal measures show fewer than 5% of active accounts on any given day were spam. However, the analysis cannot be externally replicated to protect user data privacy.

Also Read | Elon Musk says he may not move forward with $44 bln Twitter offer until CEO Parag Agrawal budges

In his response, Musk, who said he would make getting rid of the bots a priority if he owned Twitter, responded to Agrawal with a poo emoji. In a subsequent response, Musk said: “So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money?”

This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter.”

Agarwal also said the process used to estimate bot accounts had been shared with Musk.

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Musk’s proposed takeover of the platform was thrown into uncertainty after the tech billionaire said his $44-billion offer to buy Twitter might not move forward.

Musk tweeted on Tuesday that he could not move forward with a deal until Twitter showed proof that total fake and spam accounts on the platform were less than 5% of total active users.

In another tweet, Musk said: “20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher. My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate.”

Also Read | Elon Musk’s buyout expected to close, prepared for all situations, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal says

“Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”

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