San Francisco: Twitter's CEO and Elon Musk are beefing over bot counts. Reportedly, Elon Musk has hinted to pay less for the Twitter takeover, as he sparred with CEO Parag Agrawal over the actual number of bots or spammy accounts on the platform.
Agrawal had reasoned that Musk's suggestion to measure the problem by performing a random sampling of 100 accounts wouldn't work.
"Our actual internal estimates for the last four quarters were all well under 5 percent," Agrawal wrote on Twitter today.
Paral Agrawal's defense comes after Musk suddenly sprinkled some doubt on his $44 billion agreement to buy Twitter by tweeting that the deal was "temporarily on hold" over spam concerns.
According to Musk, the hold was put in place pending details to support the service's estimate that less than 5 percent of its measured daily active users are bots or spam accounts.
At a conference in Miami, Musk said that Twitter could have at least four times more fake accounts than what has been revealed in its filing
"You can't pay the same price for something that is much worse than they claimed," he said during the event late on Monday.
"Currently what I'm being told is that there's just no way to know the number of bots. It's like, as unknowable as the human soul," he added.
Musk, who has put the $44 billion takeover deal on hold, believes bots make at least 20 per cent of Twitter users, and a lower price may not be "out of the question".
Twitter shares were down 8 per cent to close at $37.39 on Monday.
Musk attacked Agrawal after the Twitter CEO on Monday went into finer details on how the micro-blogging platform is fighting spam and fake accounts.
The Tesla CEO even showed an emoji depicting a "pile of poo" to Agrawal on his Twitter thread.
"Our actual internal estimates for the last four quarters were all well under 5 per cent -- based on the methodology outlined above. The error margins on our estimates give us confidence in our public statements each quarter," said Agrawal.