In responding to Twitter’s complaint, which includes counterclaims against the company, Musk’s team is trying to refute the company’s allegations that the Tesla CEO is unfairly trying to get out of the deal. his team Repeats allegations that Twitter miscalculated the number of fake bot accounts and spam on its platform — a central charge that Musk made to justify termination of the takeover agreement After originally citing a desire to “defeat spam bots” as the reason to buy the company.
Based on this analysis, Musk claims that during the first week of July, spam bots made up 33% of the accounts visible on the platform and about 10% of Twitter’s daily active users, or mDAU. (Twitter, for its part, consistently reports that spam and fake accounts make up less than 5% of the mDAU.)
In its response, Twitter objected to Musk’s analysis of spam bots, saying that the “fire hose” of the data he used “reflects many Twitter accounts that were not included in mDAU” and that the Botometer tool he used relies on a different process than the one he used. To determine if the account might be a bot. She added that the potometer was “designed earlier this year that probably caught itself as a robot.”
Back and forth between Twitter and Musk It provides a preview of the arguments each side will make when referring the case to trial, assuming they do not agree to settle first. A five-day trial is set to begin on October 17, after Twitter lobbied to speed up proceedings.
In addition to compounding concerns about bot accounts, Musk’s responses also criticized Twitter’s use of monetized daily active users, a metric that Twitter publicly leverages for advertisers and contributors to represent its growth.
Musk claims that his ratings show only a small portion of users that Twitter considers mDAU to actually generate significant revenue for the company by displaying and interacting with ads, claiming that this action is not actually a good indicator of potential future revenue growth and long-term performance as public filings indicate. for Twitter.
“Twitter also does not publish the methodology it uses to determine its mDAU number, or how it excludes non-cashable accounts from this metric,” says Musk’s answer. “Therefore, it is extremely difficult for any third party to completely recreate Twitter’s mDAU accounts.”
Musk’s answer claims that Twitter’s leadership has incentives to report “high MDAU numbers to pique investor interest” and because the executive’s compensation structure is based in part on the mDAU.
In his answer, Musk’s team explained that the billionaire is concerned with the spam bot problem because “transferring users that don’t generate any revenue to more active users…is not an easy task.” Musk’s team adds: “A company focused on adding these active users will invest significant resources in trying to improve Twitter to increase engagement, such as effectively targeting spam or false accounts.”
Twitter said in its response to Musk’s counterclaims that the MDAU count was never claimed to show how many users generate significant revenue by interacting with ads, but rather how many real users could be monetized by viewing ads. He also noted that Musk’s MDAU claims were not included in his initial termination filing and a “newly invented litigation situation.”
The company also continues to claim that the issue of bots is not, and never has been, closely related to completing the acquisition. The Twitter response read: “Musk received massive amounts of information from Twitter, for several months, and was unable to find an acceptable excuse to back out of the contract.”
In a letter to Twitter employees included in the regulatory filing on Friday, Twitter’s general counsel, Sean Edgett, said that while Twitter had the opportunity to request a revision to Musk’s answer, it chose not to. (Twitter previously sent a letter to the judge overseeing the case asking it to ensure that Musk’s team would not provide a public response early so they had enough time to review it for potential revisions.)
“We have chosen not to redact any information – we stand completely behind our SEC filings, the methodologies we use to calculate MDAU, and our data on the percentage of spam accounts on our platform,” Edget said in the letter.