Elon Musk Is Throwing A Tantrum Over Twitter Bots

"You say the house has less than 5% termites. That’s an acceptable number. But if it turns out it is 90% termites, that’s not okay."

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Tech billionaire Elon Musk has threatened to walk away from a $60 billion acquisition of social media platform (and demon hellscape) Twitter after escalating disagreements about the presence of bots and spam on the service.

In a very strongly worded letter to Twitter’s chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde, Musk officiated his long-standing complaints about the number of bot accounts on the social media platform, accusing the company of “resisting and thwarting” his investigations.

Back in May, Musk announced that he was placing his $60 billion takeover of Twitter “on hold” until he could independently verify the company’s figures that claim less than five percent of Twitter users were fake bot accounts.

Musk defended the holdup at the time by stating that the presence of spam and fake accounts should reflect the overall price of the takeover, equating the situation to termites in a real estate deal.

“This is a big deal. It seems like if you said, ‘Okay, I agree to buy your house.’ You say the house has less than 5% termites. That’s an acceptable number. But if it turns out it is 90% termites, that’s not okay. It’s not the same house,” Musk said in a podcast summit.

Today’s letter from Musk’s legal counsel argues that the failure to prove the exact number of bots users on Twitter equals a breach of the acquisition deal, allowing Musk to essentially walk away from the merger.

“This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement.” Musk’s lawyers said in a statement.

Twitter has signalled that they will push Musk to stick to the terms of the merger which currently stipulates a $1 billion penalty for a breach of the deal, with the company also open to sue for additional billions in damages.

The social media platform has tried to publicly explain the challenges it faces with spam on Twitter, with Musk responding to an open letter from Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on the topic with a poo emoji.

Elon Musk surprised everyone back in April by announcing his intended purchase of Twitter, a service that has historically only given the tech billionaire grief like when he was sued for jokingly suggesting he would take Tesla private for $420 per share.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said about the deal back in April.